Last night the Internet exploded after the announcement that Ben Affleck would be playing Batman in the film currently known as Batman vs. Superman. From what Twitter tells me, most people are not happy about this choice, mostly because Ben Affleck is not Jon Hamm.
This is weird mostly because a) most people aren't Jon Hamm, so that seems like a silly reason to be upset and b) I thought we were all cool with Affleck again after The Town and Argo.
Of course, the announcement that Affleck will be the new Dark Knight also means that Christian Bale successfully turned down the truckload of money WB offered him to come back. Good, because now that he's not coming back to the role, it's time we all admit what we've been ignoring since Batman Begins:
Christian Bale was a terrible Batman.
Make no mistake: Christian Bale is a great actor. He's a big chunk of what makes American Psycho the fun movie it is. He's great enough to make you ignore the gaping problems in Equilibrium. He kills it in The Prestige.
Hell, he's even a great Bruce Wayne. Outside of the cape and cowl he's charming, warm, funny, emotional... you know, actually human.
And yet, somehow, over the course of three movies, he managed to have one and a half great moments as Batman. Here's the first:
And the half comes from the very beginning of The Dark Knight where he mentions not wearing hockey pads. That joke is funny.
But it's that voice, that dumb, awful tough guy voice that he uses to "hide his identity" that makes it impossible to ever take Bale's Batman seriously. It feels like a pro-wrestler trying to cut a promo on a bad guy rather than the voice of justice. He never emotes- just talks in different volumes of huskiness. It's a credit to the actors opposite Bale that any of the scenes work because they're the ones who end up having to do the heavy lifting.
I mean, does anyone really think Bale brings anything to this scene other than a warm body for Heath Ledger to act circles around:
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And don't get me started about that scene in The Dark Knight Rises where Selena Kyle gives him the slip on the rooftop and he talks to himself in that dumb voice. That whole theory about "Batman is the man, Bruce Wayne is the mask" is only interesting if Batman himself is interesting. (Not to mention, seeing as how he - spoiler alert - stops being Batman at the end of the movie anyway, that theory doesn't even work with DKR.)
Now, I can't say whether or not Affleck will be any good in the role, but I've got high hopes. Affleck is a talented dude and Batman isn't too far off from the characters he's played in The Town/Argo, ignoring the extreme wealth, ninja training, cool gadgets, and awesome cave.
Batfans, it's time we stop dreaming and start facing the new reality. Let's see how this all plays out. Together, we can try and keep an open mind and not act like those weird Star Trek fans who hate everything.
Unless he starts talking in a funny voice. Then I'll be the first in line to tell him, "Argo fuck yourself, Batman."