So, by now, everyone remotely interested in the Superman- and Batman-universes created by Hollywood has been updated the fact that, in the MoS-sequel (currently going under the working-title Batman vs. Superman (which sounds dumb as corn since it’s a Superman-movie first and foremost)), the Man of Steel will be facing off with the Dark Knight himself, Batman. An honor for any male around 40-something-actors to be bestowed upon (after all, as my personal motto goes (for Halloween and costume-parties at least); Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be Batman) and this time, this honor have fallen on none other than Ben Affleck. But is he worthy of this honor? One thing that we have to remember is, that he will not only be portraying the Dark Knight, he will be giving us a whole new Bruce Wayne as well. Let’s go over it together, shall we! (note; I’m only going as far back as 1989 on this one!)
First off, we had Michael Keaton (Batman, 1989), a charismatic actor in his own right. He gives us a smart, smerky and somewhat awkward Bruce Wayne, not at all what I wanted from the character when I first saw the movie. But he grows on you over time and looking back on his portrayal, it’s not really that bad. He returns to the role in Batman Returns (1992), showing us that his Bruce Wayne is now much better than before. Not the greatest though.
Then we have Val Kilmer (Batman Forever, 1995). Here we have Bruce Wayne incarnate. Kilmer gives us a delightful yet distant business-man with a dark past inside him, just waiting to burst out. This is also the Bruce we saw screaming out in a circus-tent full of people, that he was Batman, just to save the Grayson-family. Honorable indeed!
In 1997 the movie Batman & Robin, starring George Clooney, was upon us and here is when everything went to shit. Clooney gives us a straight-up doghouse-performance as Bruce Wayne. Dead eyes, ridiculous mannerisms and a smile that would give little children the jeeves!
And finally, we have Christian Bale, portraying the charismatic Wayne-heir to near perfection. With an ensemble of the necessary traits needed from all the aforementioned actors in one complete package, this, is the perfect Bruce Wayne (unless you count Adam West ofcourse, but that was before 1989)!
So… what do you think? Can Affleck withstand the pressure he is now being put under? Does he have what it takes? Yeah, I think he does. I actually think that Affleck can give us (almost) a better Wayne than any of his predecessors. Why? Just look at him! He looks like he was drawn straight out of a cartoon for Chris’s sake! And as he have proven on multiple occasion, he really is a good actor. Not great, but good. And all we need for a great Wayne, is a Good actor.
Onward we go, to the character it’s mostly about.. The Dark Knight himself, Batman! *yeaaaahhh* (note; I won’t go over’em in a chronological order as I did with the Waynes.)
Christian Bale had, as I mentioned a near-perfect Bruce Wayne but as Batman, I find him too brutal at times, almost as if he left his humanity behind completely every time he donned the cape and cowl. He’s just as menacing as the Batman I fell in love with in the comics as a kid, sure, but he feels almost demonic. Could be the voice, though. Yeah, it’s the voice! Damn, that voice ruined it all. I understand completely why people are spoofing it everywhere. This is where Kilmer comes in. Here, we got almost the complete opposite. When I first heard him (as Batman, of course) speak, I couldn’t stop laughing. Keep in mind now, that I was only 12 years old at the time and still found it extremely laughable. That’s NOT a good grade, that’s a big flippin’ F right there! After I saw the movie again a couple of weeks ago, I still laughed. But as a grown-up, I saw something else in Kilmers’ caped crusader. His mannerisms. He moves and interacts just as good as Bale does and that put him in a shared 2nd-place (with Bale) for my favorite Bat.
But, who’s in 1th place, you ask? Well, Michael Keaton of course! The purity in his portrayal is astonishing. Everything I’ve ever wanted in a Batman-movie, I get. He is gritty, complex, menacing and a complete badass! And the fact that he had with him the greatest, most awesome Batmobile ever seen AND the Bat-wing to boot… that just pushes him further on top!
And now, the question you’ve all been asking; Is Ben Affleck the right choice for the MoS-sequel? And my answer is; Yes! And here’s why!
First of all, you have to put your hate toward the casting aside. 98% of you are basing that hate on a movie called Daredevil and that’s just not fair to Ben. If you look at this movie again, you’ll see clear as day, that Ben Affleck is a fantastic actor behind that mask. It’s not his fault that the writer/director (Mark Steven Johnson) was a complete tool and made nothing but mistakes. Put aside the playground fight-scene, the God-awful Bullseye and the fact that the Kingpin was black (yeah, I said black… deal!). Affleck’s part in it was great and I think that now, as an Oscar-winning director, Affleck will have a little more to say about the whole process. Another thing you fan-boys and girls out there should remember, we have another case in casting just like this, that caused almost as much waves as this one; Chris Evens a.k.a Johnny Storm a.k.a Steve Rogers/Captain America … remember? Everybody said that it was a bad decision and so on, but look how that turned out!
So, here’s a quick conclusion – Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, solid choice. Ben Affleck as Batman, solid choice. Here’s to you Ben, show’em all up!!
Until next time…. peace!!
ps; I kinda hope they let him keep that stubble, make him a little more Arkham Asylum/City!