The Batman Clip: A Funeral Gets A Puzzling Interruption

Riddle me this: If the team behind "The Batman" starring Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader is setting out to make "the best Batman ever made," then why would you strip The Riddler down to his core and redress him as demented serial-killing agent of chaos? Of course, I say this as someone who has yet to see the movie featuring Matt Reeves' take on The Dark Knight, but based on everything we've seen so far, Paul Dano's version of the criminal mastermind with an affinity for puzzles makes it seem like it would be more fitting if the "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Ruby Sparks" star were playing a different member of Batman's rogues gallery altogether. And this sentiment is further reinforced for me when you see the latest clip from the highly anticipated film based on the iconic DC Comics character.

Putting The Fun In Funeral

After meeting Jayme Lawson's Bella Reál in a previously released trailer, Warner Bros. has just unveiled a new clip on their YouTube channel that gives us an extended look at the scene where she tells Pattinson's Bruce Wayne that he could be doing more for Gotham City. In this scene, the two (potentially together since they're walking into the church arm in arm) are attending a funeral, likely for one of Gotham's elite that was targeted by The Riddler. While Reál is concerned with her political aspirations, helping the city, and paying her respects to the deceased, Wayne (who is completely silent throughout the scene) is more focused on the young son left behind since he definitely knows a thing or two about losing a parent.

But being there for the kid emotionally quickly turns into saving him physically as a SUV covered in strange markings plows into the church. As it turns out, the vehicle was being driven by the missing person that Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon was talking about moments ago. However, Gil Coulson is far from being found safe and sound. He has a bomb strapped to his neck and he unwillingly has a message for Batman. Meanwhile, Dano's Edward Nashton looks on from the choir loft at the chaos that he created, then silently walks away.

Rogues Are We

Without a doubt, a funeral is a somber occasion. This scene appropriately conveys that tone. And Pattinson acts the hell out of this scene without even saying a word. But when The Riddler crashes a funeral, I hardly think that the flamboyant and ostentatious villain with a tendency to speak in puns would leave without letting everyone know that he was there or that he was the one causing the disruption. We don't even need to go full Jim Carrey here. I'm looking for a modern take on John Glover's Prince of Puzzlers from "Batman: The Animated Series." I understand that Reeves wants to take a page from Christopher Nolan's book by making this Batman movie more grounded in reality. They even specifically use Batman's "World's Greatest Detective" moniker in the official synopsis to hammer that point home. But if they wanted a stone cold killer with a light dash of supervillainous flair, The Riddler is not your guy. 

The filmmakers could have done something new and exciting by giving the rub to other characters from the comics that we haven't seen on the big screen yet. Find a diamond in the rough and give them a reason to shine instead of trotting out the same recycled characters over and over again. Yes, certain villains are fan favorites and everyone wants to play with the coolest toys in the toy box, but Arkham Asylum is full of those types of baddies. Hush, Anarky, or even Cluemaster could have done exactly what it seems like they were looking for with The Riddler here, so why not use one of them instead?

Unfortunately, we won't really get an answer to why it had to be The Riddler until "The Batman" starring Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, and Andy Serkis hits theaters on March 4, 2022. In the meantime, thanks to writer and director Matt Reeves, you can watch the scene in 4K on his Vimeo and pick up advance tickets for the film starting on February 10, 2022.