Ben Affleck’s grizzled Batman/Bruce Wayne is the true star Zack Snyder’s 2016 superhero mash-up Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Affleck finally gives us the character that has graced the pages of comic books since 1939.
Michael Keaton may have been able to deliver the twisted psyche in the Tim Burton movies and both Val Kilmer and George Clooney brought a handsome playboy swagger to the Joel Schumacher years, while Christian Bale gave a brutal physicality to the role. However, none of them managed to fully deliver on the fact that Bruce Wayne (and Batman) has a psychotic streak which runs through his core and that he uses this for good rather than evil, though his sense of right and wrong is morally blurred. He might be fighting for good, but his outlook methods are as dark as the world he inhabits. Snyder and Affleck finally present this to audiences and anyone expecting an Adam West-style version of the character had better look elsewhere.
Batman V Superman sees The Dark Knight fighting for justice and mankind, but he’s also fighting to save his own humanity after 20 years of traversing the roof-tops of Gotham City. Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne may have been able to walk away from the cowl, but you get the feeling that Ben Affleck’s never could.
Budgeted at $250 million, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice grossed $330.3 million at the US box office and $873.6 million globally following its release in 2016.