The Most Gruesome Death In The Batman
Contains spoilers for “The Batman”
Few DC Comics fans could have predicted a few years ago that Warner Bros. would release a new Batman movie in 2022 that is not only set outside of the DC Extended Universe but also stars someone other than Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader. However, that’s exactly what has happened. Now, after entrusting “War for the Planet of the Apes” director Matt Reeves with its most coveted superhero property, Warner Bros. has finally unveiled the Robert Pattinson-led “The Batman” for everyone to see.
Taking inspiration from multiple different comic book and cinematic sources, “The Batman” isn’t like a lot of the other comic book movies that have come before it. While the film adopts the same kind of grounded, gritty aesthetic that dominated Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, “The Batman” goes even further with that style. The movie also leans harder into the detective side of its titular character, delivering a movie that is not only a superhero flick but also a thrilling and genuinely intriguing crime mystery.
Thanks to the presence of its primary villain, Edward Nashton AKA The Riddler (Paul Dano), “The Batman” also gets incredibly dark at certain points. As a matter of fact, it may very well be the darkest live-action Batman movie that comic book fans have ever seen.
The Riddler takes The Batman to some dark places
From its opening scene, “The Batman” sets Paul Dano’s Riddler up to be the scariest live-action villain in Batman movie history. Opening with one long, voyeuristic shot from the character’s POV, the film’s first sequence sees The Riddler break into the home of Gotham City’s mayor on Halloween night and brutally kill the man while his family members are out trick-or-treating.
The sequence is unexpectedly dark and creepy, but it’s only the first of the film’s many impactful and unsettling Riddler scenes. Indeed, over the course of its nearly 3-hour runtime, “The Batman” follows The Riddler as he goes on a bloody and gruesome crusade, killing many of Gotham City’s most powerful and corrupt law enforcement officials.
With each of his kills, Dano’s The Riddler reveals a little bit more about himself and the relationship that he thinks he has with Pattinson’s Batman. However, his main mission in “The Batman” is to expose the corruption that has run rampant throughout Gotham for decades by killing the people who allowed the city’s citizens to be taken advantage of, lied to, and kept in the dark. As a result, the character, who was partially inspired by terrifying real-life figures like the Zodiac Killer, sets out to send a different message with each of the crimes scenes he leaves behind.
With that in mind, it’s worth asking: Which character in “The Batman” experiences the most gruesome death?
Pete Savage meets an unfortunate end in The Batman
Due to the nature of his mission in “The Batman,” The Riddler leaves a surprisingly high number of victims in his wake. Indeed, the villain performs several heinous acts throughout the movie, including strapping a bomb to the neck of Gil Colson (Peter Sarsgaard), Gotham City’s corrupt district attorney, at one point in its second act. That said, the most gruesome death in “The Batman” is actually the one that fans see the least of in the film itself, and that’s the murder of corrupt police commissioner Pete Savage (Alex Ferns).
Introduced near the tail end of the film’s first crime scene sequence, Savage is initially set up to be a major thorn in the sides of both James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and Batman. However, Savage’s presence in “The Batman” comes to a quick and unexpected end early on in the film when he is revealed to be the second of The Riddler’s victims.
Unlike most of the deaths in “The Batman,” Savage’s demise isn’t shown on-screen when it happens. Instead, the character’s death is revealed in a news report, which briefly shows a video that The Riddler recorded during Savage’s last moments. In it, the audience briefly sees Savage sitting with a complex trap strapped across his chest and face.
Later in the film, it is revealed that The Riddler injected Savage with rat poison and then placed rats in the trap on his body, which eventually chewed and burrowed into his face and neck. The complex, depraved, and drawn-out nature of Savage’s death is what makes it truly horrifying to think about, and that’s also why “The Batman” ultimately shows very little of it and only briefly alludes to the state of Savage’s body after he is discovered by his police colleagues.