Batman vs Batman


Claire Arneson, General Reporter

The Batman, starring Edward Cullen himself (AKA Robert Pattinson) was released this past month and has gotten mixed reviews from fans. Fans of both the prior Batmans and even some Twi-Hards coming back into society have seen and raved about this movie. However, others are not convinced that Batman’s new path has met their expectations. As someone whose only experience with Batman before this movie is Ben Affleck’s, I was hesitant to see what my vampire boyfriend would do with this role. Many actors have taken on the lead of Batman in the past, but the ones that have been met with the most positivity are the films starring Christian Bale. With the Dark Knight Rises concluding Bale’s stay in the batsuit, DC fans have been eager to see who would take on the role next. Unfortunately, when Affleck came into the picture, fans seemed to lose interest in the films, especially following Bale’s departure. As someone who loves Pattinson but hasn’t gotten the chance to watch Batman with the beloved Dark Knight, I felt it would be wrong to compare the new movie without seeing the films everyone seems to love. With that being said, I have watched all of Bale’s Batmans and hope to provide insight into my thoughts and reactions to all three actors’ portrayals of the caped crusader. 


Before I begin, I think it is important to note that these three men have taken very different takes on this prominent DC character. With the new Batman bringing a more depressing and edgy performance of Bruce Wayne, the other interpretations are lighter and more superhero-like. After not being impressed with Batman Begins, I have to say The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were very entertaining. In both films, the plot and villains- shout out to Heath Ledger, who is now my favorite Joker- left me enthralled and taken with Bale’s character. Being that Affleck never starred in a stand-alone movie, only appearing in Suicide Squad, Dawn of Justice, and Justice League, we don’t get a Batman for the entire film. I believe, however, that Affleck did an excellent job for the times he did don the suit, and compared to the Bale movies, they flow nicely into each other. Looking at the movies side by side, the consensus seems to be that Bale is the ideal Bruce Wayne and Affleck is the best Batman. Affleck exceeds with the suit, gadgets, and voice, while Bale portrays Wayne’s ideals and relationships similar to the comics. 


With The Batman bringing a new era of Bruce Wayne to a post-pandemic world, the movie’s aesthetic is a fresh take on the old. The film nods towards Joaquin Phoenix’s The Joker by taking a more politically motivated performance of the character. And although the grim cinematography and emo music played over a brooding Bruce Wayne provide a different feel than the other films, I can say that these three actors offer little to no difference in the characters’ portrayal. They each had a deep voice, lengthy action sequences, and a suit that looked like a bat. That being said, the Batman movies- no matter who wears the suit- are action films that superhero lovers will enjoy. And when the bat signal appears again, I am excited to see who will answer the call.  


Claire Arneson is a Dakota Student General Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected].