There have been many, many cinematic Batmans over the past few decades. So many, in fact, that poor Alfred, his trusty manservant, is getting quite weary about burying them all. So what does the latest Batman do to differentiate himself from all of the George Clooneys, Christian Bales, and Will Arnetts who came before him?
If you’re Ben Affleck, you bring a whole new brand of combat to the table. When asked what makes his take on the Dark Knight different, the actor, whose performance in the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is being hailed by critics as “fine,” and “so clearly the least of [director Zack] Snyder’s problems,” brought up Batman’s new fighting style.
“He’s a little bit more of a brawler. He’s more physical,” Affleck told Reuters about his version of the character. “You kind of get a feeling of like physical, visceral, slugger thing. So the fights are more smash mouth kind of UFC-influenced, like Conor McGregor style.”
In MMA’s ongoing quest for legitimacy through mainstream attention, this represents a well-meaning but awkward step forward. While it’s nice to see an A-list star be able to namedrop a current UFC fighter other than Ronda Rousey, Affleck’s description doesn’t necessarily suggest that he has the best concept of what’s going on with The Notorious one. Invoking the name of a man who made “precision beats power, and timing beats speed” a rallying cry while describing the visceral, slugging thing-ness of your Bruce Wayne seems like an imperfect choice, almost as if Affleck had a basic concept of what he thinks goes on in the cage, and then just added a name he had heard a few times to make it sound more official. On the other hand, at least he knew enough about the sport to say that much. To borrow Jennifer Garner’s assessment of the new phoenix tattoo that he got after their highly publicized separation: “bless his heart.”
This does leave us with an interesting philosophical question, though: If Batman now fights like Conor McGregor, and Nate Diaz recently submitted McGregor... then, by the transitive property, does this mean that Nate Diaz could beat up Batman? We’d certainly love to hear Diaz’s assessment of the situation.
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