Affleck may be gone but his art will live on.
If you are a fan of comic books then you probably know by now that Ben Affleck is no longer playing the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the next solo Batman movie. Further solidifying that Ben Affleck is done playing the Caped Crusader. And while last week has been full mixed reactions ranging from disappointment to excitement, it looks like Warner Bros. is being particularly careful in selecting the next Batman. But we shouldn't forget everything that Batman has done for the role.
Being originally cast in August of 2013 many were skeptical that the actor could pull off the dark and grizzled persona of the "Dark Knight." But Affleck proved them wrong with his portrayal of Batman in "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)" is one of the few things praised about the film by critics. And while Affleck will forever be known now as the Andrew Garfield of Batmen, we should take a second and look back and appreciate one of my favorite scenes of "Batfleck's" tenure as Batman.
If you have not seen BVS ("Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice") due to critic backlash, I highly recommend that you watch it. Specifically, the Ultimate Edition and not the theatrical version. For the theatrical version was heavily cut down and leaves many plot points unresolved. The film, while not perfect, is still a decent action film to watch and enjoy. Specifically, the "warehouse scene". In this scene, Batman has to save a certain character (No spoilers) from a bunch of mercenaries. And while Fight scenes in Batman films in the past have been decent, this takes the cake.
Warehouse Scene / Batman Saves Martha | Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice (2016) Movie Clipyoutu.be
I appreciate that the filmmakers took a realistic approach to Batman fighting a bunch of heavily armed individuals. Movies often make fights look simple. Either by cutting to a different shot each time to give the audience the impression of a "fight" or a character simply punching an individual one time, incapacitating them. In reality just because someone is hit, they don't often stay down. And so we see in this scene how Batman doesn't simply punch a mook and they collapse. Instead, the mook gets back up ready to take another swing at the Dark Knight.
The Dark Knight Rises - "Light it up" Batman saves Gordon and Blake (HD) IMAXyoutu.be
Above is a clip from "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012) where Batman saves Officer Blake's life. The scene is a memorable one because as an audience member we are excited to see the return of Batman after he was incapacitated for so long. However, we suspend our disbelief as Batman clearly takes these guys down with ease. If you actually pay attention you will notice a man or two falling down without having any contact with Batman. Again we suspend our disbelief for this scene and I don't mind it at all. But compared to Affleck's brutality and realism it is pretty epic.
Another highlight I'd like to point out with the "Warehouse scene" is that it reminds me a lot of the "Batman: Arkham" video games. The series had players obviously playing as the Caped Crusader and what was always praised was the free flow combat. It wasn't just button mashing or specific combos that become boring after the first two hours of the game. It's about timing and reading your opponents, as seen in the video below.
BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT Baseball Bat Finishyoutu.be
Getting back to the "warehouse scene" from BVS, I appreciate that Batman uses Krav-Maga in his fighting technique. Krav-Maga is an Israelian self-defense fighting where the main objective is to defend yourself and incapacitate your opponents. I used to train in Krav-Maga during my junior and senior years of High School and I can tell you it really comes in handy. Simple techniques can take down your opponent in an instant. And in this scene Batman defiantly uses it. For example, at the 2:20 mark he uses an advanced version of an arm block to stop his knife attacker. And at the 3:00 mark when another attack tries to grab Affleck's lower half Batman takes the back of his head and slams him to the ground. Like mentioned earlier, Krav Maga is about defense so redirecting the attacker was the smart move in this instance. Throwing him off balance, resulting in Batman to obviously attack him.
It's obviously difficult to appreciate Ben Affleck's warehouse scene from BVS if you don't appreciate martial arts. Or understand how this brutal Batman is a real-world Batman. But I feel like, for comic readers, Ben Affleck's Batman was one of the most comic books accurate Batman since Adam West. And it wasn't just his fight scenes. It was his mannerism and his build. While not perfect, he was still pretty great and will be missed.