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Bolshy Batfans Bash Ben Affleck as Batman? Relax, it's just a movie

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Ben Affleck causes quite a stir with news he'll be the next Batman (Photo: www.theorange.co)
Ben Affleck causes quite a stir with news he'll be the next Batman (Photo: www.theorange.co)


It's a testing time in the world. The west is finally getting itself sorted about Syria, although in a pretty cack-handed fashion. The liberal bona fides of Barack Obama's presidency are dissipating faster than you can say "Chelsea Manning". And Batman fans are losing their marbles over the casting of Ben Affleck as The Pointy-Eared Pippistrelle. That's Batman's nickname, isn't it?

Yeah, they're not happy, these Bat people. In the last week there have been myriad memes, articles, hashtags and even a god-damn petition petition either mocking, pontificating or generally shouting at the rain over Ben Affleck moving to Gotham City. I don't normally say things like this: but it's a only a film. Just a film. And like the 17th Batman movie in the last decade, for that matter. Well, give or take a few.

You'd think if you were to listen to the more serious-headed of the anti-Afflecks, you'd think it was the equivalent of getting Rob Schneider to play Titus Andronicus. How dare they undo the dark genius of Christian Bale and Chris Nolan! Of course, the truth is a lot less precious. At one point, Batman was played by the most obnoxious fighter pilot in a large group of really obnoxious fighter pilots. Even Fr Ted thought he was "a complete bastard".

He was also played by a man who featured in a film that involved multiple versions of himself opposite a woman who hasn't appeared in anything but shampoo ads for years. And at various points, his biggest villains were Matilda's father dressed like he was on the way to a reception at an embassy, Ace Ventura trading Hawaiian shirts for green, and the former Governor of California making ice puns. And the music, dear god, the music! At one stage, the soundtrack was replete with Prince jams, Seal power ballads and orchestral melodrama by U2. Now, granted, all these songs are awesome, but it's hardly Blade Runner intensity is it?

And let's not forget the implicit lunacy in the "legitimate" Batman films. Christian Bale's Batman thinks it's a good idea to save a city by throwing a bomb into some water, like it's a firecracker. And then there's Bane. Surely the pressing need to shout "speak up!" takes the sting out of his menace?

I'm about exasperated with the endless superhero films, hybrids and crossovers these days, but I really hope Affleck does a good job at Batman and silences the po-faced and wrong-headed critics. Although he'll find it hard to top Adam West.

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