Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith first met when Smith hired Affleck to play a role in his 1995 film Mallrats. Smith certainly had a role to play in helping Affleck in launching an acting career, and the two have worked together several times since then and remained friends. When discussing Batman v Superman, Smith of course praised his old buddy Ben and his portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman, while also mentioning some problems with the characterization.
“That didn’t seem like Batman,” Kevin Smith said, according to The Wrap. “Certainly not the world’s greatest Detective. More like Bat-Trump…Batman’s never like, ‘If there’s a one percent chance s**t could go wrong, let’s f***ing stab people.'”
This is The Dark Knight Returns Batman, still wouldn't kill after all those years, he couldn't even kill The Joker. pic.twitter.com/JHAPjxYHAO— SuperBro Movie News (@SuperBroMovies) March 28, 2016
Zack Snyder took most of his inspiration for the Caped Crusader from Frank Miller’s legendary The Dark Knight Returns, a comic that redefined the character and changed comic books from that point forward. Miller’s interpretation of Bruce Wayne/Batman in that book presents the character as older, more brooding, and dark, returning to being the vigilante known as Batman after a 10-year hiatus. In Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne returns to the cape and cowl after 20 years, fueled by rage and cruelty after the destruction in Metropolis, brought on by Superman and Zod in Man of Steel. And this version of Batman certainly does things in the movie that has upset some comic book fans.
On Hollywood Babble-On, Kevin Smith’s co-host, Ralph Garman, doubled-down on Smith’s opinion of the film and agreed. He went on to say that Affleck was the least unlikable aspect of the movie, with Smith stating that Ben did the best he could with what he was given. They also both agreed that the film was a little too long, filled with one too many subplots and agreed that along with the characterization of Batman, the characterization of Superman also seemed false.
“There seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what those characters are about,” Kevin Smith continued. “It’s almost like Zack Snyder didn’t read a bunch of comics, he read one comic once, and it was Dark Knight Returns, and his favorite part was the last part where Batman and Superman fight. But…you get to do that in that book because you’ve got three books prior to that and 50 years at that point of comic-book history to build on.”
But even with those criticisms, Kevin Smith did say that Ben Affleck’s portrayal is “the best cinematic presentation of Batman fighting you’ve ever seen in a movie.” He also made sure to compliment Zack Snyder as a director and mention how much of a visionary he is.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, according to Smith, did not have a whole lot of heart and barely any humor. Kevin was unable to sum up the moral of the story.
These criticisms echo many other statements made by critics who didn’t like the movie, as well as regular fans. However, as much as it might seem that Smith hated the movie, that actually isn’t the case. Some headlines say that Smith “bashes” Batman v Superman or “rips it apart,” but Smith did not hate the film, revealing as much on Twitter.
Kevin Smith did say that while he would not take a 9-year-old to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he would take one to see Deadpool. While that might seem like a bizarre statement, Kevin explained that while Deadpool is R-rated and violent, it has a simple, emotional story at its core — a love story, in particular. And he was unable to find the core of what Batman v Superman was.
[Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Samsung / Warner Bros.]