If I could just take your minds back to the summer of 2013 for a second and remind you of the outrage across the internet which was caused by the announcement that Ben Affleck would be the new Batman. Affleck at that exact moment was already given the tag line of ‘The worst Batman ever’ before we had even seen as single of him in the famous cowl. To be honest I for one didn’t know how to respond to this announcement at the time. All I knew of Ben Affleck at the time was that he was in Daredevil, a film that I could barely remember anything about. Also I just hated the film regardless of Affleck’s role as the DareDevil. Now Fast forward to 2017 and its safe to say that most of those opinions have changed as evident by every time a rumour about Affleck leaving the role surfaces it causes an uproar. Granted he may be the Batman with the shortest screen time yet and no solo film to his name. But I hope that his reign as the caped crusader continues for at least a couple more projects. So in honour of Batman day I thought it would be appropriate to share with you guys why Ben Affleck is my favourite Batman ever.
For as much criticism Zack Snyder receives we have to praise him for the bold casting decisions he made. He was instrumental in casting the likes of Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa. Now with Ben Affleck as Batman he made the best choice in my opinion. Even when it must have felt like 99% of the internet was screaming in dismay against this decision he still stood by his guns. To me this decision paid off with what we saw in Batman v Superman already, let’s be honest we was the best thing about the movie. I left the theatres on a high knowing that they had finally got Batman right. This was the Batman that I always wanted, the Batman from my favourite graphic novels ever ‘The Dark Knight Returns’.
Every time he was on screen I found myself engaged whether it was Bruce Wayne or Batman. That’s why I loved Affleck’s portrayal compared to previous iterations it’s that he struck the perfect balance between Batman and Bruce Wayne. I felt that Christian Bale was a great Bruce Wayne but not the best Batman (also I hated the voice he used). What’s most commonly said about the previous Batman films is that the villains are more interesting than Batman himself. Now this is hard to disagree especially when it comes to the Christopher Nolan ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy where you had characters such as Bane, Scarecrow and of course The Joker. With that being said I personally don’t care who the main villain is in the upcoming ‘The Batman’ film I just hope it will be Ben Affleck returning to the iconic role.
I’d also like to address one controversial aspect of Ben Affleck’s Batman that upset many comic book fans which is the face that he killed people. Now granted I didn’t have an issue with it really because it fit in with the film. This was a Batman that was emotionally damaged, he had lost Robin and felt like Superman was a genuine threat to not only him but to humanity. Now that we got the more violent side of Batman out the way we are on track to see a Batman that we are more familiar with. The events from Dawn of Justice will lead us to a Batman who has been inspired by the actions of Superman as we have seen with the Justice League trailers already.
One last reason why Affleck is my favourite Batman is just him as a person and what he’s done with projects such as The Town and Argo. I was gutted when I found out he wouldn’t be directing ‘The Batman’ and the fact his script wasn’t being used anymore. You have to imagine it must have been a frustrating time for him but he handled it all with class. This year’s Comic Con was a perfect example as he was telling fans how lucky he felt just to be playing to role. I hope that Justice League is not Affleck’s last outing as I feel he has brought so much to the character of Batman already within the short amount of time.
Let me know who is your personal favourite Batman below
The Batman movie is one easily of the most anticipated comic book films that is set to come out in the not too distant future. Now granted the film may not even have a script yet and there has been much drama surrounding the project such as the uncertainty of Ben Affleck’s future as the caped crusader. What we do know so far about the Batman film is that it will be directed by Matt Reeves and will star Ben Affleck who is set to return to the iconic role. One question that seems to be on the mind of comic book fans is “Who will be the main villain?”. Having a strong villain is crucial to any superhero movie and Batman is no exception. To some extent one of the main reasons why ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)will go down as one of the best films ever is because of Heath Ledger’s portrayal as the Joker. What makes Batman so interesting is that there is plethora of great villains to pick from at any writer’s disposal. So here are three characters that I think would make a great main villain in the upcoming Batman Movie that haven’t featured in the DCEU yet.
We haven’t seen the Riddler on the big screen since Jim Carrey’s performance in Joel Schumacher’s ‘Batman & Robin’ (1997). Now It’s safe to say that fans wouldn’t want to see that type of performance again as it still haunts some to this day. With that being said the Riddler would be a great choice as the main villain for the Batman film. He would bring out the more detective side of Batman which has been severely lacking in recent projects. What makes the him such a threat is that he won’t go fight Batman fist to fist, he’s more focused on taking people down mentally. With the Riddler as the main villain this could be a film full of many tests and obstacles for Batman to go through and showcase one of his best strengths which is his brain. If the Riddler doesn’t seem like a character that could be the main focal point of the film he could at least team up with someone else. It would be interesting to see who he would ally himself with to take down the Batman.
The Red Hood
What could be more compelling than the story of fan favourite Jason Todd finally being portrayed in live action? Once the sidekick to Batman he would eventually become the Red Hood and a foe to his former teacher. The death of Jason Todd from the iconic graphic novel ‘Death of the Family’ is one that comic book fans around the world will never forget. The events from this graphic novel created a clear contrast between the Red Hood and Batman in their methods and ideologies in how they deal with criminals. While Batman prefers to bring criminals to justice the Red Hood opts for a more permanent solution. These contrasting principles are bound to clash at a certain point which would produce a great story and eventual fight between the two.
The framework for the possibility of the Red Hood being a potential villain to Batman has already been laid. The DCEU has made it clear to remind us that Jason Todd did exist in this cinematic universe through recent films. Whether it was in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2015) where the camera would linger on Robin’s unoccupied suit. Not to forget Harley Quinn’s introduction in ‘Suicide Squad’ clearly states that she takes full responsibility for Jason Todd’s death. Either way if we don’t see The Red Hood in The Batman film we could see him in his own solo film in the future.
Given the countless number of potential villains that come to mind Deathstroke (also known as Slade Wilson) would definitely make for one the most exciting choices. Deathstroke is someone who is equally on the same level of Batman both skill set wise and tactically. Whether he is wielding his signature Katana or going fist to fist the assassin will definitely be a well worthy match for Batman. Fans of the Batman Arkham Asylum games already know what a great potential this match up could have. If you have any doubts all you have to do is go look up the Deathstroke and Batman fight scenes from the game on YouTube. It did look like Deathstroke was set to be part of The Batman film as Ben Affleck shared some test footage for what seemed to be for the project. Now that Ben Affleck is not only no longer directing the film his script has been scrapped too. One can only hope that in the future discussions of the Warner Bros. boardrooms Deathstroke is at least considered to be in the film.
Tell me who you think would make for a great villain in the upcoming Batman movie below?
Without question the Dark Knight trilogy will go down as one of the best film trilogies ever. It’s Certainly one of the most successful we have seen grossing up to $2.5 billion worldwide across the three movies. This trilogy had wiped out the pain and nightmares of the Batman & Robin and Batman Forever films. So this trilogy not only revolutionised the character of Batman but the comic book film genre as a whole. However just like with everything in the world nothing is perfect and having recently re-watched the whole trilogy over the summer I’d like to give my personal view on how I would rank the individual movies.
3. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
After the heights of the Dark Knight this film had a really tough act to follow. With that being said I can’t hide the fact that this film is still probably one of Nolan’s worst films to me. Now don’t get me wrong if this film was made by another director it would most likely be their best film ever, it’s just that I have such high standards for Nolan. With this film I felt that Christopher Nolan was lazy here especially when it came to the minor details of the story writing.
He left a lot of plot holes throughout the film when in previous project he would fill in with great detail. In Dark Knight Rises you start to have plot holes exist such as how did Bruce Wayne make it back to Gotham from the prison when Gotham was cut off from the rest of the country? How did Batman survive the bomb explosion with seconds to go on the timer? These issues transferred to main characters such a Bane who was a huge problem for me throughout this movie. This is nothing to do with Tom Hardy but I didn’t like the way Bane was used in this film. From being like a minion to his sister Talia al Ghul to the way he talked. I’m sorry but I found it hard trying not to laugh every time Bane opened his mouth. Not to mention the fact he created a bomb that would blow up in six months. Which I understand he wanted to see Gotham in ruins by turning it upside down, it just lacked the right execution.
As I was watching this films climax I thought it was great that Batman would make the ultimate sacrifice saving Gotham. My feelings suddenly changed when it felt like Nolan had tricked me with Batman surviving. I hated this ending because it didn’t make sense with the universe Nolan had built. This was a universe where batman was just an idea, anyone could be the Batman such as John Blake’s character which was heavily teased. So with Bruce Wayne’s Batman dying it would have been the perfect ending for the trilogy. I do feel like this decision may have been influenced by the studio executives that didn’t want their audience to see Batman die.
2. Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins is a film that I have come to appreciate a lot more as I’ve gotten older. Mind you I was around the age of 10 when I first saw this film. Now having a better understanding of Batman from various comics and previous films this is the best portrayal of the origins of Batman. This was the first serious take on Batman in a while, given the last time we saw Batman on the big screen it was in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin (1997). With this film and it’s focus on the origins of the character it was almost like a re-introduction of a new Batman to a different generation that didn’t grow up on the likes of Michael Keaton and Adam West.
We see the journey Bruce Wayne takes as a person who at first sets out for revenge for the death of his parents to someone who develops a moral compass whose main aim is to help clean up corruption in Gotham. The scene where Bruce Wayne is training with Ra’s al Ghul showed how in a split moment why he became the Batman as he refused to punish the criminal. This showed that Batman was not a punisher type of character and instead of killing people that did wrong he brought them to justice.
What I love about what Nolan does with Batman’s origin is showing us the link between bats and Bruce Wayne. From an early age Bruce had a fear of bats from watching that play in the theatres to having nightmares about them. The choice of Scarecrow as the main villain was great too as he linked with the main theme of the movie which is fear. Instead of embracing fear what made the Scarecrow such a threat to Batman was that he would use people’s fear against them. So Batman overcoming Scarecrow shows the full development of his character in how he embraced his main fear to the point where Scarecrow’s main ability was useless against him. So in 20 years’ time when someone asks me what to recommend to them if they want to get into batman I would tell them to start with this film. (mind you by the way hollywood works we might have 5 more Batman origin films by then)
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
Is anyone surprised that the Dark Knight is number one? This is a film that should be in everyone’s top ten films ever list regardless of what genres. Honestly I could write about this movie for hours (I’ll leave that to a future date). The Dark Knight in my opinion is Nolan’s best work ever even after watching his other critically acclaimed projects such as Memento and Inception. The story telling here is second to none from the character and their motivations, to the building of Gotham as a universe that felt so real. It really enforced how Batman was an idea and anyone could be a hero as shown with performances by John Blake to the convicts on the boat in the final act who choose not to detonate the bomb. There are so many great scenes that come to mind when I think of this film such as The Joker and Batman highway chase scene. I still remember my Jaw dropping and being on the edge of my seat when Rachel Dawes died, I couldn’t believe they took that kind of step in a comic book film.
Now people say that with Batman his villains can be more interesting than the caped crusader himself. That’s hard to disagree with when you have the likes of The Joker and Two-Face in this film. Two-Face who gets overshadowed by The Joker (for obvious reasons) is a great villain by himself in this movie. To see him transition from this hero like persona of Harvey Dent to this conflicted, angry and broken character is incredible. Not to mention the look of the character himself is amazing, much credit is deserved to the make-up artists and costumers in this film.
Although I have heaped a lot of praise on Nolan for this amazing film I think it’s time we talk about the real star of Dark Knight which is The Joker. Heath Ledger in my eyes will go down as being the best Joker ever in my opinion. His performance alone makes this the best film of the trilogy hands down. Everything about him fully embracing the character by coming up with The Joker’s appearance and mannerisms is something to stand in awe of. Every time he was on screen from that opening bank scene you couldn’t take your eyes off him. Given the character’s motivations of trying to create chaos and seeing Gotham burn he was so unpredictable you didn’t know what he would do next. The only sad note about the Joker in this film is that Heath never lived to see his creation play out on the big screen.
Thank you for reading this, I really appreciate it leave me some feedback if possible
Most importantly tell me how you would rank these films?