Ever since Batman v Superman was announced, I was a little sceptical about it because Man of Steel wasn’t all that great and I just couldn’t see Ben Affleck as Batman. I thought the casting was wrong, the director was wrong, but more importantly, the direction the DC Cinematic Universe was headed in was wrong. I watched this movie with two buddies of mine today and all of us went in with low expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the movie because of how true to the comic books it is in certain aspects which I’ll touch upon later.
First of all, let me just say that I am glad I was proven wrong about Ben Affleck – the guy is a great Batman. No, he’s the best live-action Batman yet. It’s not an overstatement; I’ve put a lot of thought into this. He’s the closest any Batman has come to resembling his comic book version or for that matter, his animated series version. Those will always be my favourites, but Batfleck does a commendable job. I think the first step to being the Batman was to look like him. Michael Keaton and Christian Bale had great takes on the character (the abominations that were Val Kilmer and George Clooney’s takes don’t even count), but when I saw Batman in this movie, I thought to myself, “Yup, that’s Batman alright!” He looks the part and thankfully, he can play the part too. He’s a good actor, who was a little limited by the script. He doesn’t really show an abundance of emotions; he’s mostly just angry or grumpy or sad. But hey, comic book Batman is chronically depressed so I don’t mind.
Note: For the purpose of simplicity, I will be considering any movie based on a character by Marvel or DC to be made by them respectively and not by its original studio (if any). For example, Spiderman will be considered to be made by Marvel and not Sony because he’s Marvel’s intellectual property.
I’ve been reading comic books quite casually since I was a child and though I’m not very well-versed with the intricate details of every character’s background, I have a decent overview of each of them. Now when it comes to Marvel vs. DC, I’ve always been on DC’s side because I just like their characters better, simple as that. But the problem is that while DC has really good characters in the comic books, they haven’t been able to reproduce that comic book magic on the big screen like Marvel has. Tim Burton’s and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies are exceptions to that rule and maybe even the old Superman movies, but they’ve aged terribly. Iron Man and Captain America aren’t nearly as interesting as Batman and Superman, but Marvel hired the perfect actors to portray the two characters and made some really good movies about them. Consequently, I went from thinking of those two as discount superheroes to considering them worthy of being in the big leagues. The funny thing is that DC had the leg up on Marvel in terms of movie success with Christopher Reeves’ Superman movies, but how the tables have turned.