Jumping The Gun: Where Does Ben Affleck Rank Amongst Bat-Actors?

Yup, more Batfleck talk! I thought about doing a feature on something else today, but come on — who wants to talk about dumb old video games or comics when we can continue obsessing over Ben Affleck donning the cape and cowl? Not me!

So, since everyone seems to be pre-judging the guy anyways, let’s really go that extra mile and decide where Ben Affleck ranks amongst other movie Batmans years before his movie hits theaters! Don’t worry, this is all going to be very scientific

Okay, so, let’s go over our methodology — I’ll rank all six movie Batmans (West, Keaton, Clooney, Kilmer, Bale and Affleck) based on several criteria important to being a good Batman. The top ranked in each category will get five points, the bottom ranked will get none. We’ll tally up the points at the end and decide definitively, once and for all and forever where Ben Affleck rates amongst his fellow Bat-actors.

The Chin

Obviously the most important thing you need to be a good Batman is a chin that won’t look dorky under the cowl. Ben actually ranks pretty high in this category. Solid lantern jaw complete with the all-important buttcrack chin. Keaton probably ranks lowest — his chin’s just too f–king pointy. Guy should be playing the Wicked Witch of the West, not Batman. Clooney’s is also kind of lumpy and ill-defined (there’s a reason he’s rarely without his patented stubble).

Ben Affleck – 5pts

Christian Bale – 4pts

Adam West – 3pts

Val Kilmer – 2pts

George Clooney – 1pt

Michael Keaton – 0pts

The Voice

Ben falls down pretty hard here — I’ve talked to teenagers at the Wendy’s drive-through with more vocal authority. Of course, you can go too far the other way, pull a Bale and come off like you’re voicing one of the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are for a five-year-old audience. Keaton probably struck the best balance — his Bruce Wayne and Batman voices were different, but not to a comical degree. I also kind of enjoy Adam West’s deadpan delivery.

Keaton – 5pts

West – 4pts

Clooney – 3pts

Kilmer – 2pts

Bale – 1pt

Affleck – 0pts

Legitimate Craziness

If Batman actually existed, he’d have to be completely goddamn insane, so it helps if the guy playing Batman is legitimately a little unhinged (or at the very least, kind of a dick). Obviously Bale and Kilmer rank highly in this category. Unfortunately for Affleck, he’s maybe the most aggressively normal, pleasant, levelheaded guy in Hollywood.

Bale – 5pts

Kilmer – 4pts

West – 3pts

Keaton – 2pts

Clooney – 1pt

Affleck – 0pts


Even though Batman is usually identified as being in his late 20s/early 30s he looks and acts like a guy in his mid-40s to 50s. A good Bat-actor should embody that “old soul in a younger body” thing — Clooney did. Bale did. Affleck doesn’t. It doesn’t matter how many grey hairs he gets in his beard, the guy’s still just Ben Affleck, and has more or less the same gravitas today as he had at 24 in Good Will Hunting.

Clooney – 5pts

Bale – 4pts

Keaton – 3pts

West – 2pts

Kilmer – 1pt

Affleck – 0pts

Annoying Magnetism

Unlike most other superheroes, Batman doesn’t have a tortured love life. He’s lured half the female characters in the DC Universe in for a roll in the Bat-hay. A good Batman should have that “oh, f–k that guy” magnetism that attracts women who should know better and just kind of annoys everyone else. Affleck’s got it in spades. Clooney too. Bale probably could have it, but seems to be intentionally repressing it. Oh the other end of the spectrum — has anyone ever wanted to f–k Michael Keaton?

Clooney – 5pts

Affleck – 4pts

Bale – 3pts

Kilmer – 2pts

West – 1pt

Keaton – 0pts

A Good Director

Whether or not somebody goes down in history as a good Batman isn’t entirely on their shoulders — a lot rides on whether the guy making their Bat-movie is competent or not. Bale of course benefited from a top-of-his-game Christopher Nolan and Clooney and Kilmer unfortunately got stuck with Joel Schumacher. Affleck is kind of stuck in the middle of the pack with Zack Snyder. Hopefully Affleck is willing to give Zack some pointers — the occasional “hey, maybe this shot of me eating a sandwich doesn’t need to be in slow motion” might go a long way.

Bale – 5pts

Keaton – 4pts

Affleck – 3pts

West – 2pts

Clooney – 0pts (tie)

Kilmer – 0pts (tie)

So, where does Affleck place amongst the Bat-pack? Hit the next page to see the tallied scores…

Here they are — according to my carefully calculated findings, Ben Affleck will in fact not be the worst Batman of all time. With that question answered you can officially skip Batman vs. Superman! I just saved you 15 bucks!

1) Christian Bale – 22

2) Adam West – 15 (tie)

2) George Clooney – 15 (tie)

3) Michael Keaton – 14

4) Ben Affleck – 12

5) Val Kilmer – 11

Predictably Christian Bale takes the top spot in a walk, while George Clooney, Adam West and Michael Keaton occupy the mushy “pretty good, but flawed” middle ground.

So there you have it, in 2015 Ben Affleck is going to give a performance that’ll make you forget all about Val Kilmer as Batman. Uh, look forward to that I guess?

…you soon won’t.