The Batman’s Most Emotional Scene Slowed the Action Without Great Payoff

In the recent installment of the Batman franchise, The Batman made some subtle changes to the well-known characters of the universe. While Batman's persona has been set in stone for decades, creators still find new ways to separate their version of Batman from the others, and Matt Reeves did an excellent job with this interpretation. One crucial element of the movie was Catwoman's backstory and involvement with Batman as she became a vital part of his character development and the overall conflict of the story.

From the beginning, Zoë Kravitz played the role well, wanting to make the character as well-rounded as possible with limited screen time. She accomplished this by being an interesting anti-hero who worked with Batman, but the momentum of the film came to a halt during one of her more powerful scenes -- the final voicemail she received from the friend she'd been looking for. This scene did have relevance and was important for the character and conflict, but the voicemail dragged on a little too long, taking away some tension and grounding from this scene, and the time spent on this scene ultimately didn't lead to a payoff worthwhile.

As mentioned above, Catwoman was obsessed with finding her friend. Without this subplot, Batman and Catwoman would have never teamed up to retrieve information from higher ups in the government. This dynamic also led to Catwoman showing her rebellious traits, wanting to go her own way instead of blindly listening to Batman's orders. Kravitz's version of Catwoman had more to prove when it came to protecting those she loved, which was very different from previous renditions of the character, and this trait made her more righteousness. Plus she had a specific goal in mind, and her personal vengeance led to some intense moments with Batman.

With all this momentum building behind Catwoman and Batman, the moment that revealed how her friend died should have been more shocking, but the delivery of the moment didn't pay off. Around the midpoint of the movie, Catwoman and Batman find Annika's body in the back of a crooked cop's car, and Catwoman decides to make him pay. Once she's captured the cop, she finds one final voicemail from Annika where her murder is recorded, but where this scene falls short is the length of the voicemail, taking viewers out of the moment and ruining the momentum of the scene.

Moments before, Catwoman was beating Kenzie ruthlessly, and then she hands the phone over for Batman to listen to. The voicemail reveals a lot of information, and the sound quality stays consistent throughout, even though there's an obvious tussle. Her friend is murdered on a recording, and the villains had possession of this voicemail, but for some reason, it was never deleted. Plus, Catwoman stalks back and forth as the voicemail plays, completely putting all action to a halt until it's finished.

Although the voicemail did play a role in the overall conflict and story, the length of the voicemail made the scene awkward, and the shift directly afterward didn't fit. The entire scene could have been reduced, and the building tension in the movie wouldn't have slowed down or altered to fit it all in.

To catch Catwoman's revenge, watch The Batman, now streaming on HBO Max.

Read Next
About The Author