It’s easy to rag on BatFleck for the “Martha” situation, but that’s not really the problem I have. It’s linked sure, but it’s not the line that bothers me most.
For those who don’t know, Ben Affleck has played Batman in three movies so far. Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and Justice League. If you haven’t seen those movies, most of this isn’t going to make sense. You might enjoy reading it anyway, but you’ve been warned.
My biggest problem with Ben Affleck’s Batman, has nothing to do with Ben Affleck. I actually think he does a really good job. He looks the part and is a very good actor. I love the suit design, and I like the incorporation of the older more experienced Batman bringing together a team of younger (Except for Diana), less experienced superheroes.
My problem, my massive, can’t watch the movies without wanting to rage quit problem, is the writing.
In both Batman V. Superman and The Justice League, Batman forms plans based on assumption. Which I just disagree with. The Batman I know and love is a cold calculating madman who is almost crippled by his need to have looked at every piece of information before he can act. It’s what makes the parallel of The Joker so engaging. The Joker cannot stop to think about his actions, he simply has to act. Batman, on the other hand, has to think about everything, from every angle. He’s the over-informed spymaster, and in a world where people can fly and talk to fish, why can’t we have a Batman who knows everything about everybody. Why doesn’t the world greatest detective know that Clark Kent is Superman and that his mother’s name is Martha? Lois Lane managed to work it out in Man of Steel?
My problem started in the scene where Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons) is questioning Bruce on why he thinks he needs to go to war with Superman:
“If we believe there is even a 1 percent chance he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty.” – Batman (Batman V Superman)
He says something similar in Justice League when discussing the resurrection of Superman.
“If there is a chance we have to try.”
That could so easily have been turned around.
For example (My own re-write):
Diana finds Bruce in the Batcave preparing for the resurrection and starts strongly questioning him about how he knows his plan will work and he simply says.
“Because I know.”
And when she pushes a little harder.
“You can either help or leave, but don’t try and stop me.”
It makes him seem cold, calculating and distant. Batman isn’t supposed to be able to play well with others. That’s why he’s bringing Superman back from the dead because he knows Superman is a better fit as the leader for the team because he knows that he himself is an asshole.
Later in the movie, he also nervously asks Aquaman if he can actually talk to fish.
It’s just not my Batman. He should be the one who knows, the one who when a secret gets reviled calmly says. “I know.” Because he’s looked into the situation from all sides and decided that it didn’t matter. He doesn’t gamble on assumptions and chance. He’s the one who has detailed contingency plans to take out every other member of The League, just in case. He’s the one who knows. … It’s more frustrating because the movies are almost good. Justice League specifically, there are so many things about it that I really enjoyed, but the end product feels rushed.
Everything about it has the feeling of a project where the people making released it just so they wouldn’t have to work on it anymore. No one thinks Superman’s digital smile looks passable, but I digress.
I like Ben Affleck as Batman, I honestly think he does a really good job, far and above the material he’s given to work with. I’d love to see him get to be this character in a movie made by people given the time and space to let their passion shine through. As it stands, with the exception of Wonder Woman, the DC movies all feel like they were made by people who inherited companies and just run the factories without any knowledge of how they actually work. Yes, these are technically movies in that there are actors playing characters reading lines, some of them do good jobs and some do not so good jobs but the people putting it together don’t care about that. They just want something that is a movie which they can sell. Make money today, with no thought or understanding about how it affects their ability to make money tomorrow.
It’s funny how one simple line of dialogue can, for me anyway, completely change the nature of a character.
Damn it I’ve gone off track again. Anyway, do you agree, disagree, think I’m just ripping off someone else?
Let me know in the comments below.