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The Batman And Se7en Have More In Common Than You Think

Like some of its predecessors, "The Batman" leans into the darkest, grittiest elements of the iconic superhero's origins. The highly anticipated Matt Reeves film follows an emotionally volatile Bruce Wayne/Batman (Robert Pattinson) two years after he begins fighting crime and corruption in Gotham City as he tries to track down the Riddler (Paul Dano).

While not every critic loved "The Batman," most reviews have praised the cast's performances and positively compared it to "The Dark Knight" trilogy for deviating from the standard superhero mold. Additionally, Dano's portrayal of the Riddler is a total-180 from Jim Carrey's cartoonish characterization of the villain in 1995's "Batman Forever," making for a more terrifying storyline.

The puzzle-obsessed, live-streaming serial killer drew comparisons to the Joker, and he also reminded some critics and audience members of David Fincher's 1995 crime thriller "Se7en."

Here's why "The Batman" and "Se7en" have more in common than you might think.

Evil triumphs in both films

"The Batman" has far more in common with most crime thrillers than it does with the average superhero film. Many viewers noted that the Riddler's sadistic crime spree is reminiscent of John Doe's (Kevin Spacey) gruesome biblical killings in the revered Fincher film, with SFGATE columnist Drew Magary calling Reeves' film "the 'Se7en' of superhero movies."

He pointed out that "The Batman" features a "straightforward thriller" plot that "steps outside of the usual Batman movie restraints" and allows for a fair comparison to other works outside of the popular genre.

Both neo-noir-inspired films follow the flawed but heroic protagonists as they are forced into deadly cat-and-mouse games with antagonists who leave taunting clues at the crime scenes. Despite their best efforts to stop the villains, both Batman and the detectives in "Se7en" are unable to come out on top.

The grim, unflinchingly brutal realities of their situations are all too fitting for the somber tones of each film. Dano's version of the Riddler is arguably even more provocative than Joaquin Phoenix's controversial portrayal of the Joker in 2019, and the "Se7en" comparisons back this up.

"The Batman" is currently playing in theaters.