Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Batman.
Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight in Batman may have looked great, but there was one funny problem with his character’s design. Matt Reeves’ Batman is a harsher and more down–to–earth take on the character, and Gotham is a much more realistic and sinister place than in many other versions. Following the titular vigilante in the second year of his crusade for revenge, Batman sees a Caped Crusader against the Riddler, Penguin and various other criminal elements of the Gotham underworld.
With Pattinson’s Batman versus Paul Dano’s Riddler (who was inspired by real-life serial killers), Batman’s eponymous hero presents a slightly different take on the character. He lacks muscle, as in previous versions, and in “Batman” much more attention is paid to his detective abilities than in other Batman films, which makes his view of the character completely unique. The design was sound, and it still managed to maintain the level of accuracy of the comics, but it had one funny flaw.
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Batman Pattinson can regularly be seen riding a motorcycle around Gotham, moving unrecognized thanks to his helmet. However, on several occasions he rides a motorcycle in an avenger costume—a costume that includes a long flowing cape. While this may be a great image for a revenge-driven Batman hero, it presents a serious potential problem in Reeves’ more realistic world.
Batman’s cape is such an iconic part of the character that without it, he simply wouldn’t look right, and the Batman version of the character is no exception. Pattinson’s Batman also makes extensive use of his motorcycle throughout the film, preferring it to Batman’s Batmobile. This makes more sense in Reeves’ more mundane world, as Pattinson’s Batcycle will allow much faster and less obvious travel around Gotham. However, the way his raincoat and bike are likely to interact will clearly not look heroic: the raincoat will almost certainly catch on the rear wheel of the motorcycle, unceremoniously dragging the vigilante out of his seat onto the asphalt.
Batman may see Robert Pattinson wearing a different Batman costume than previous Batman actors, but the problem isn’t limited to his version alone. Any Batman who wears a cape and rides a motorcycle is likely to face the same problem, although the more realistic Batman world makes the problem even more obvious. Throughout the film, this problem is avoided by Pattinson riding a bike without his vigilante gear, although in the final scenes of the film, he can be seen riding off into the sunset, his cape fluttering dangerously close to the moving rear wheel of the bike.
While the problem of this particular wardrobe malfunction is not new, it is compounded by the fact that Batman’s Gotham City is much more mundane and tough. In a more serious Batman setting, the idea that Batman can be displaced by something so mundane is much funnier and therefore more obvious. It remains to be seen whether Matt Reeves will solve a potential problem in the Batman sequels, but in the closing scenes of Pattinson’s debut in The Dark Knight, it created an unintended theoretical problem.