Another era of Batman has come to an end. With Matt Reeves’ The Batman beginning to ramp up its production, it was finally confirmed that Ben Affleck would not continue in the role of the Dark Knight. After appearing as Batman in Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, he will pass the cape on to a new actor.
The general consensus about Affleck in the role was that he was a pretty good Batman in some pretty bad Batman films. As a result, Affleck leaves us with some memories, both good and bad, of his time as the Caped Crusader. Check out Batfleck’s best and worst moments!
10 Best: Witnessing Superman
For all its faults, Batman V Superman started the movie off in a brilliant way. The film opens with the battle between Superman and Zod at the end of Man of Steel. But this time we see it from Bruce Wayne’s point-of-view on the ground. The destruction is frightening and immediately makes you understand why the world would be afraid of these aliens.
The sequence also helps establish Affleck’s Bruce Wayne as fearless and heroic. As Metropolis falls around him and its citizens flee, he charges directly into the destruction. It’s the kind of moment that gives you goosebumps.
9 Worst: His Origin
Some origin stories don’t need to be retold. Everyone knows Bruce Wayne’s tragic past, but we got to see it yet again in Batman V Superman. However, one small change to the well-worn tale changed things for the worse.
We see the mugger approach Bruce and his parents with a gun. Then, we see Thomas Wayne take a swing at the gunman, which gets him and his wife killed. It’s a small moment but helps encapsulate what’s wrong with this take on Batman. It suggests that violence and being a hero are the same thing, which is why Affleck’s Batman was sometimes hard to cheer for.
8 Best: Pep Talk
Affleck had a tall order to fill when it came to the Justice League. He needed to convincingly show why a man dressed as a bat should be the leader of these god-like beings as they attempt to save the world. One scene between him and Flash achieves this.
As they prepare to do battle with Steppenwolf, Flash voices his concerns about whether he really belongs in this group of heroes. Batman’s response is simple: save one person, then you’ll know if you’re a hero. Short as it is, it’s one of those great inspirational speeches that gets your heart pumping.
7 Worst: Murder
Snyder seems to have some fascination with pushing his heroes to their deadliest potential. The death of Zod in Man of Steel is still a controversial moment. And he certainly didn’t let up at all when it came to Batman in Batman V Superman.
Quite unlike the strict code that Christian Bale’s Batman lived by, Affleck’s Batman has no problem killing bad guys. We see him shoot, bludgeon and burn baddies without batting an eye. Sure, this is a more cynical Batman, but the cold-blooded nature leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
6 Best: Relationship With Alfred
The one relationship that Batman has always had is with his trustee right-hand man, Alfred. While it is not a huge part of the Affleck films, the interplay between him and Jeremy Irons as Alfred is a highlight of each of the films.
We get the sense that these two men have been doing this together for a long time and both might be getting a little tired. They aren’t afraid to voice differences with each other. And the banter between them offers some much-needed comedic relief. It’s a shame we won’t see more of these two together.
5 Worst: Wonder Woman Romance
Wonder Woman and Batman have a long history in the comics. Affleck had good chemistry with Gal Gadot in the role, making them a good team. However, the filmmakers seemed to want to take that chemistry to a very obvious and dull place.
In the midst of trying to save the world, the film unwisely took some time to plant the seeds for a romance between Wonder Woman and Batman. It’s hard to say if this was Snyder or Joss Whedon, but it’s a bad move to saddle the only female on the team with a boring romance. Luckily that won’t be going anywhere now.
4 Best: Superman Fight
Affleck’s introduction as Batman came along with a lot of expectations as he would face-off with Superman for the first time on the big screen. The film took some strange paths to get to that final battle, and while the motivations behind it made little sense, the fight delivered.
While maybe not as epic as fans were wanting, the battle was appropriately brutal. It let Affleck’s Batman show off his brilliance as a strategist. It wasn’t too hard to believe that this man could beat a nearly immortal alien.
3 Worst: Suicide Squad Post Credits
Seeing Affleck’s Batman show up in Suicide Squad as a figure lurking in the shadows of Gotham was cool. But when Bruce Wayne shows up in the film’s post-credit scene, things quickly went downhill.
The scene finds Bruce meeting with Amanda Waller, the mastermind behind the Suicide Squad. She provides him with information on metahumans in exchange for protection for the chaos she caused. Aside from being a pretty lame set-up for Justice League, it was one more example of how this Batman isn’t a great hero. He’s agreeing to protect a woman responsible for the death of countless people. Not a great look.
2 Best: Warehouse Fight
The cinematic Batmen have varied in quality, but Affleck is undoubtedly this most frightening of them all. Fear is a big part in what makes Batman work and Affleck showed us why criminals would be scared to get caught by this guy. Mainly because he can kick a lot of butt.
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The warehouse fight sequence in Batman V Superman is the film’s highlight, even surpassing his fight with Superman. We have never seen Batman fight like this. He expertly and entertainingly takes out a whole room of thugs with little more than his fists. We’d like to see Clooney to that!
1 Worst: Martha
Though it isn’t Affleck’s fault, his Batman is part of one of the most embarrassing moments in Batman’s long history. If the set-up to his fight with Superman was clunky, the reason the fight stops is just laughable. As it turns out, their mothers share the same first name, so now they’re best friends.
This is the moment that Batman V Superman will be remembered for and that’s not good. The anticlimax leads to an unintentionally funny moment. You just know that this was a reveal the filmmakers were so excited about and sadly it just falls flat.