While it’s pretty clear that superhero movies don’t really do it for me, Batman v Superman was surprisingly… fun. Was the acting terrible? Of course! Was the CGI so over the top I wondered if Ben Affleck ever saw daylight while making this movie? Totally. Was Jesse Eisenberg [insert anything here]? Basically, yeah. But all this, and more, made for a superhero movie with a difference. There was no unnecessary love story shoved down our throats (Hulk and Black Widow ugh), the “witty banter” was kept to a minimum, thank fuck, and the female lead got to kick some serious ass. While Lois Lane was painfully underused and turned into a general misery guts, Gal Gadot was fucking A, and gave me hope that the Wonder Woman movie won’t be total shit (Chris Pine’s cameo helped too). But the biggest question has always been will Ben Affleck be a good Batman? And, obviously, will Ben Affleck be a better Batman than George Clooney?
Poor Clooney gets the shit ripped out of him for Batman & Robin, even though it came out in 1997. Maybe after twenty years, it’s time to let that one go. Was it really any worse than the pastiche bromances Marvel’s been remaking for years now? If one more person tries to tell me that Iron Man isn’t a cheesy, misogynistic, motherfucker, I’m gonna go ape.
Having witnessed the Batfleck in all his glory FINALLY after years of speculation, I feel pretty good about it. Did I want to fuck the Batfleck? No. But there was something sort of refreshing about not wanting to pound Batman. The only person I remotely would’ve fucked in Batman v Superman was Gal Gadot. After years of fantasizing about Christian Bale, the older, somewhat drunker, Batman brought to life by Affleck should’ve been every bit my type, and yours too. There were several scenes where it looked like Affleck had turned up to work and literally thought, “Fuck it. I’m not gonna try, I’m just gonna be Batman today”. Do I mean that he oozed an effortlessness rarely found in superhero films? Sure. But it also looked like he didn’t really give a shit, and as far as I’m concerned, that is one of Ben Affleck’s finest qualities.
Unfortunately for George Clooney, he always appears to give too much of a shit about everything. Even when he’s being coy, playing it cool, or trying to be sarcastic, everyone knows that underneath it all, he’s a really good guy who keeps pigs as pets. Ben Affleck, on the other hand, may be an award-winning director, but he’s also a tabloid live-wire, unafraid to truly take the piss out of himself (“I’m fucking Ben Affleck!“), and his life is really crumbling to shit right now! Like, for really reals. He’s getting a divorce, he’s got a massive fuck-off tattoo emblazoned across his back: this man has nothing to lose!
No-one needs me to tell them that Ben Affleck is (probably) the better Batman here, though he’s still completely cheesy in the role, and looks pained so much of the time it’s difficult to figure out if he’s acting or actually in pain. It’s really a close call. Clooney’s Batman is kitsch as fuck, and in years to come we’ll start to appreciate the lighter, funnier, crazier Batman movie for what it is. After all, the so-called banter between Captain America and Iron Man, and constant references to Thor’s hammer, are not only wearing thin, but get taken far too seriously. Batman & Robin was every bit as campy, homoerotic, and star-studded as any of the Marvel movies, and I’d rather re-watch it fifty times in a row than have to sit through another Avengers movie. (#Team DC #SorryNotSorry).
As for Batman v Superman, ignore the critics. The Batfleck is great. And awful. Like, really truly terrible. But that’s what makes him so great. Ben Affleck has the eyes of a man that’s given up on life, and has nowhere else to go, when he should be thanking his lucky stars that he’s not Henry Cavill.
Amy Mackelden is an Entertainment Writer at Bustle, and has written for heat magazine, New Statesman online, Kinkly, The Independent online, xoJane and Hello Giggles. Her book, Adele: The Other Side, is out now from Eyewear.
She co-founded poetry magazine Butcher’s Dog, and is co-editor of Clarissa Explains Fuck All. She’s developing a theatre show, MS Is My Boyfriend, about life with multiple sclerosis, and a collection of prose poetry called TV Is My True Love. Harrison Ford is totally bae.