Why Ben Affleck is Neither the Batman We Need or Deserve; and Why The Internet is Fucking Stupid

 

k7dTaLj

 

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the “wonderful” news that Ben Affleck has been officially tapped to play Batman.  I want to say I lost sleep over this late-breaking news last night, but sadly, I average about 3-4 hours of daily sleep.  What the hell, let’s blame it on Affleck anyway!  I honestly don’t know where to start my rant, so let’s just begin with the naysayers nay-saying the naysayers.  Are you following me?  I’m talking about those internet savvy white knights of the internet who, like the vast majority of the internet, don’t necessarily agree with Warner Bros picking Ben Affleck as the new Batman, but don’t want to be hasty in their moment of displeasure.  It’s not because they’re afraid of being proven wrong, or for the sheer sport of argument.  No.  It’s only for the one reason I’ve aptly named “The Ledger Effect.” 

Ever since Heath Ledger threw egg in our nerdy faces, and acted the shit out of the Joker, everybody you know wants to throw that little tidbit out there like it’s supposed to fucking mean something.  Look, I’ve been guilty of it too, but I’m not so naive to not realize that Ledger was the exception to the rule.  People tend to forget that Ledger was primarily known for being a heart throb, starring in movies geared at grade schoolers, like 10 Thing I Hate About You and A Knight’s Tale.  I love those movies!  But I was not in any way pro-Ledger when he was announced to play the Joker.  I thought he was going to make Joker adorable, not this insidious psychopath we all know and love.  He fucking died because of his dedication.  Ben Affleck is a family man, he’s not gonna die for a post-humous Oscar.  He’s got two already.  He’s not Heath Ledger!  You know who is?  Heath Ledger is Heath Ledger!  And fuck what anyone ever tells you, no one was ever for that choice.  Nobody called it, nobody knew he would be that good.  Nobody, save for maybe Nolan himself, because the two were in talks for Ledger taking the role well before a script had been accepted.  No one but Ledger was ever in talks for the role of Joker.  Just stop with the Ledger comparisons already.  Heath was the exception to the rule, and he went above and beyond what was expected of him to prepare for the role that would cement his legacy.  I can’t think of any other profound role that was widely and absolutely held in high regard in spite of public fears.  Ben Affleck is entirely different in that he’s an established actor who ran on rough times and overcame to get back on top of his game, but he still doesn’t quite fit the bill for our Dark Knight.

My other gripe is that everyone keeps bringing up Gigli as an example of our preconceived notions that he will be a terrible Batman.  Allow me to shut you the fuck up.  I never saw Gigli, and I have a hard time believing anyone under the age of 25 volunteered to see it either.  I heard it was bad so I avoided seeing it and the trailers never had me convinced.  Ignoring the fact that I’m extremely selective in the movies I see, I don’t even like Jennifer Lopez and I hate her abbreviated name even more.  Her acting and singing are about as enjoyable as having a gnarly zit popped from the most sensitive part of your body.  Even if I did happen to see it, it’s been far too long for moviegoers to still marinate on a terrible performance when he’s grown his body of work since then.  Even moviegoers now in their early twenties were barely old enough to go see that movie without the company of an adult over the age of 18.  I’ll be 30 in two weeks, and I was 19 at the time.  That movie’s fucking old.  Shut your mouth stupid internet people, your point is invalid.

Now Daredevil brings a little more leverage to the table.  It’s a superhero film, but a generally disliked film at that.  If you replace Colin Farrell’s performance, and nix the vast majority of CGI and do a bit of script editing, it wouldn’t have been such a bad film.  Even on its own merits, Daredevil wasn’t really terrible, but terrible enough to consider it a flop.  And we’re talking about a character Affleck professed to be his favorite childhood superhero.  Even so, I thank the Internet Jesus that the rights have fallen back into Marvel’s hands.  Kevin Smith actually wrote an incredible Daredevil at one point and Affleck only mustered to throw him into the movie as a lab assistant, despite Smith being an authority on the character.  I only bring this fact up because a lot of idiots are saying that since he’s BFF’s with Kevin Smith, somehow Kevin Smith and his intimate knowledge of Batman will make the Superman/Batman movie better.  ???  Really, Internet?  He certainly didn’t make Daredevil better.  What’s even funnier is that Frank Miller wrote both an incredible Daredevil as well as the Batman storyline that the new movie will be based on, The Dark Knight Returns.  Frank Miller wrote Daredevil and Batman to the point they mirrored each other.  Imagine, if you will, Ben Affleck portraying the same exact persona, sans blindness.  I’m calling it now.  Everyone is going to play it safe, because the studio can’t afford not to.  With over 20 years of acting service under his belt, Affleck has nothing more to prove on-screen, so there’s no need for him to go the Ledger route, you fools.  It’s your incessant need to be that guy who “called it,” from day one that’s clouding your better judgement. 

Now unlike, Ledger, whose greatest film before The Dark Knight, was arguably, Brokeback Mountain, Ben Affleck had a plethora of incredible movies under his belt: Dazed and Confused, School Ties, and The Sum of All Fears.  He was okay in Good Will Hunting, but he’s more credited with writing that movie than acting well in it.  There’s also the dispelled rumor that Kevin Smith wrote the script, if you’re inclined to believe it.  All acting credit goes to Matt Damon and Robin Williams for making that movie incredible.  The View Askewniverse is notably absent, primarily because he’s the same flat, weaselly person in all those films; even as the archangel in Dogma.  Don’t even get me started on Chasing Amy.

Take out the lowest common denominator and Affleck is left with a modest talent for script-writing in addition to being a fantastic director.  As an added bonus, dude is hella handsome and I wouldn’t be mad if his lips just happened to caress the nape of my neck.  BUT!!  When you consider his body of work post-Daredevil, he did have a string of bad films that ran from Gigli to Jersey Girl to Paycheck and finally ended with Surviving Christmas.  That stint lasted maybe three years.  Since Hollywoodland, which was 2006, I’d say he made a decent rebound, but the stigma seemingly never wore off.  Stigma’s don’t keep me from seeing films though, and I urge everyone else to grab a fucking boat, find a bridge or a zip line if it’s available and get over that stigma-laden river and stop using those bad films as a reason to hate on Ben Affleck.  There are far better reasons to despise the man.  I don’t base my doubts on ten year old films.  I enjoyed The Town.  He was great in Extract.  He shared Best Motion Picture Oscar for Argo, alongside Grant Heslov and George Clooney.  He’s an accomplished actor.  In fact, he makes a great choice for Batman on the premise that he’s an incredible supporting actor.  I mean, not incredible in quality, but more so in consistency of landing nominations in that particular category.  Couple that with an impressive string of hits, he’s practically a shoe-in.  He’s a safe choice when you look at it from Warner Brothers’ perspective.  So why no Affleck?

I think it’s safe to say I’ve established that I don’t hate Ben Affleck, but in case you need clarification; I don’t hate Ben Affleck.  I think he’s talented, but incredibly wrong for the role of Batman.  He’d make a great Bruce Wayne, because his real life activities fit the bill; he’s rich, benevolent, he’s a great human being and incredibly well-spoken in public.  Given the chance, he should reprise the role of Daredevil, or perhaps even Oliver Queen, The Green Arrow. 

But, let’s not forget his terrible track record with action films.  Ben Affleck has a knack for dramatic films, there’s no doubt about that.  We went over that throughout the article.  His best leading role in an action film to date is hands down Armageddon, but somehow he landed Best Supporting Actor by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA.  Since then, he’s never proved himself as a viable action star who puts butts in seats, and I’m not confident that he carries the same physical dedication it takes to be in superhero movies these day.  Compare what he did in preparation for Daredevil, to what Bale and Ledger did for Dark Knight.  What Hardy did for Bronson and Dark Knight Rises.  What the The Rock and Mark Wahlberg did for Pain & Gain.  What Jackman did for The Wolverine.  What an entire cast did for 300!  Look at Henry Cavill in Man of Steel!  Hell, what his best friend Matt Damon has done for Elysium! Has Ben Affleck ever showed extreme dedication like these instances?  I concede, no. 

I suppose if you put him behind a bunch of gadgets, he could be a believable Batman, but I don’t think he has the training regimen that would be necessary to look like Batman, to personify Batman, and reinvent the wheel so to speak. Nor do I think he has the endurance that it would take to perform the vast majority of the required action scenes. He had four different stuntmen for Daredevil who performed different tasks, from combat to wire work, in order to make Daredevil look legit.  But hey, he learned how to read braille and walk by using touch and that was enough to make the extras on DVD.  He once said, “God help me if I ever do another movie with an explosion in it. If you see me in a movie where stuff is exploding you’ll know I’ve lost all my money.”  Last I checked, Zak Snyder is still directing our Superman sequel, the follow-up to the smash fest many fans berated.  You know, the one every critic seemed to hate because of its wanton disregard for human life and propensity for destruction?  So maybe he’s hurting financially.  Does Ben Affleck really have what it takes to be Batman?  Nah, Ben Affleck ain’t no Batman, but feel free to prove me otherwise.

 

And get off Kevin Smith’s nuts.  He was not the bomb in Phantoms!

 

 

– The “Dark Night” Agamemnon

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
- Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the author

Amuro Jay has been writing and editing content for over 6 years. His interests include Gundam, anime, Battlefield, action movies, Gundam, K-Drama, , RPG's, and Gunpla.