Sad Affleck renaissance shifts into high gear
The last few years have redeemed the once fading career of Ben Affleck. | Photo Collage by Kyle Konner/ THE CHIMES
The past five years do not beckon a career revival for actor and director Ben Affleck. Truthfully, the past five to six years hearkens to the talent he always possessed.
No one accused Affleck of good acting five to ten years ago. In fact, many placed his name in infamy. Akin to what many young, fledgling actors do after a breakout performance, Affleck took the Hollywood high road in ignominy, diminishing his relevance after the phenomenal “Good Will Hunting.” Within five years after his Oscar success, Affleck took big dollars, subsequently humiliating himself in movies such as “Pearl Harbor,” “Gigli,” “Armageddon” and “Shakespeare in Love.” Affleck did not abase himself due to his performances — he contaminated his image through the roles he accepted for A-list money.
The downward-spiraling Affleck came to his senses in 2007 with his directorial debut of “Gone Baby Gone,” one of the best directorial debuts by anyone within the past decade. Many scoffed and wrote Affleck off as a failed Hollywood scrub in spite of this solid kickstart to his directing career. This film still stands as a criminally underseen and underrated film.
Affleck hit the big screen a couple of times in 2010, both as director and actor. His second film as director, “The Town,” drew critical praise, putting a few pundits on high alert about Affleck after two directorial successes.
A Bonafide Artist
In 2012, Affleck would hold the director's chair once again, this time achieving gold with his Oscar-winning film, “Argo.” At this point, Affleck had solidified himself as a bonafide artist and began shedding his negative limelight.
In 2014, David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” enamored audiences with an intense storyline and ambience. However, it was Affleck’s lead role that impelled audiences. Affleck’s acting performance established this film as one of the most memorable of the past five years.
Accordingly, Affleck found himself in a pool of success. However, when audiences first heard Affleck would don the dark armor as the Caped Crusader in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” back in late 2014, revolting flashbacks of Marvel’s horrid 2003 film “Daredevil” induced fears of a complete carnage of one of the best superheroes to ever grace comic book pages and the screens of IMAX theaters. To the surprise of many, Affleck blew negative predispositions out of the water, providing an exquisitely accurate portrayal of Batman.
A Realized Image
Michael Keaton and Christian Bale accentuated compelling qualities of Batman, while Affleck’s immaculately captures Batman’s aging, angry and detective-esque qualities. Affleck even nails the tortured psychology of The Dark Knight read about in comics during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Now, Affleck will treat everyone with his self-directed and written Batman standalone film. His addition to the DC Universe will allegedly involve the Arkham Asylum and several Gotham City villains headed by Deathstroke, also known as Slade Wilson, as the main antagonist.
The recent release of “The Accountant” pushes Affleck’s recently-realized image of a talented actor into a stratosphere where many are to finally take notice. The film did not exude perfection. Nonetheless, the fight scenes stood as explosive as “John Wick,” with choreography gracefully complementing the action. The script and cast succeeded to allure, and most importantly, Ben Affleck delivered one of his best acting performances to date. Affleck’s performance as an autistic math genius will not only vitalize film pundits but please thrill-seekers as well. Affleck proves his chops yet again, changing the opinions of those who doubt him and prompting excitement from fans and critics alike for his very own Batman movie in 2018.