Code 8 Proves Stephen Amell Better Than Ben Affleck:
Stephen Amell is better known as the Green Arrow of the Arrow-Verse. He portrays Oliver Queen in the hit The CW show Arrow. Amell has been a heartthrob for many superhero fans who have always flocked to watch his shows. He has the grit, the charisma, and the patience to execute such a complex character as the Green Arrow. And we have all applauded him for it. The Green Arrow is pretty much like the Batman without the Cowl. Both are billionaires. Both have amazingly complicated love lives. Both have lost their parents right in front of their eyes. Both have a city to clean up and innocent lives to save. Both are normal human beings with extraordinary skills that make them stand amongst and earn the respect of the Gods. So this begs the question – If Amell could do it with Green Arrow, could he do it with the Batman too? His new movie Code 8 proves this theory.
SPOILER ALERT: Major Spoilers for Code 8 on Netflix up ahead. If you still have not watched it yet, we suggest you look away….
For years, this debate has been silently raging on in the fan circles. Can Stephen Amell play the Dark Knight in the Big Screens? With a splendid delivery in Arrow, every fan was trying to picture him with a darker cape and cowl. But several sceptics decided to say nay to Amell’s right to the Bat Throne. And for more reasons than one, their doubts regarding Amell not being sufficient for playing Bruce Wayne were right. Their reservations were justified. But now, they aren’t.
Stephen Amell has changed a lot over the years. He is one dedicated guy who likes to give everything he has to his profession. For all the seasons Stephen Amell played Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow on screen, he always stayed in shape. He ensured he was physically and mentally prepared to play a role as challenging as Oliver Queen. The passion he developed for the role was shown in full glory in the show American Ninja Warrior. Stephen Amell still holds the record for being the only actor ever to have completed the notoriously difficult American Ninja Warrior obstacle course multiple times, and consecutively. That speaks volumes and is a true testament to his skills.
Amell is no longer the naïve rich boy brat he was when Arrow Season 1 began. The audience has a tendency to stereotype an actor based on the first-ever mainstream role he plays. Arnold Schwarzenegger was relegated to roles of Strong Men while Sylvester Stallone was always seen as the Tough Guy after they played their titular parts in Terminator and Rambo movies. Amell’s first truly breakout role was in Arrow, that made him an overnight sensation. People typecast Amell as a rich spoilt boy who was only lucky enough to stumble into a fortune. People started to see him that way and Arrow reinforced that notion about him.
But then Arrow changed the way they treated Oliver Queen. Oliver came out of his cocoon. He was no longer just a rich orphan by day and vigilante by night. He became a father, a brother, a friend, a lover, a son, a confidante, an ally and a lot of other things throughout the source of the show. Arrow helped Stephen Amell expand his wings. Along with the character, Amell’s skills as an actor who could play a rough and rugged but versatile character developed as well.
And in Code 8, all those acting chops are put to use. Believe it or not, Stephen’s brother might be the star of the movie but Stephen Amell is the actual spotlight stealer even though he is more or less a supporting character. He outshines everyone and proves why people believed in him as the Green Arrow. He will make you believe that he could have been a much better choice at playing Batman in the DCEU than Ben Affleck.
Over the years, Batman has become a very open patron of profanity and violence. He has become somewhat of a family man with a rather disjointed group of blood relatives. Damien maybe his son but the way he was brought up by his mother Talia Al-Ghul will leave a lasting impression on both father and son. Batman is shown to be not just a man with extraordinary will power. He too loses control. He too curses when push comes to shove and when all is said and done, he too grieves and tries his best to make ends meet. And in Code 8, that is what Stephen Amell dos too. He embraces profanity, becomes violent when his fuses snap, and generally walks around with the biggest stick up his butt, always suspicious of anything and everything, even his friends.
Batman is a vigilante and warrior to the Justice League. He also bank-rolls the entire team! But the one true element of the Caped Crusader that gives him his trademark role and position within the Justice league is his ability to speak up and go against his fellow teammates if need be if the situation demands it. He is not unwilling to make hard choices. At heart, Batman is a rogue contrarian. And yet, the Justice League respects him for who he is and what he does. In Code 8, Stephen Amell is more or less the de facto leader of the motley crew that goes up against the authorities. In Code 8, Stephen Amell can be a true rogue and anti-authority figure, something Batman is but Green Arrow could never be in the show.
In Code 8, Stephen Amell portrays Garrett, a mutant with the power of Telekinesis. The world of Code 8 involves the planet coming to terms with humans and mutants co-existing together. The mutants are numerically inferior but have special powers that make them very unique and deadly. The humans do not trust the mutants and they readily persecute the mutants at the slightest of felonies. Humans have recently started gathering all the mutants all over the world and sending them to Nazi-style ‘internment camps’.
Garrett is the leader of the resistance movement that opposes the authorities’ actions to fill the camps as quickly as possible. He is hard on his brother Connor (played by Stephen Amell’s real-life brother Robbie Amell), who was also born with telekinetic powers. Garrett trains Robbie to hone his skills but also shows his tough love side to him. The entire setting reminds us of Injustice – where Batman leads the resistance against Superman’s Regime, in general.
In Lincoln City, Garrett unleashes his fury on evil-doers. And boy does he unleash it in style!! Punishment is swift and brutal. Ruthlessness is Garrett’s Mantra. His no-nonsense attitude is sure to remind you all a lot of Batman. Like the Dark Knight, he uses his networks, connections, and allies, and operates from the shadows to do his bidding. Code 8 shows Stephen Amell in a way that The CW network’s Arrow-verse never could.
Maybe that is why some fans were still not convinced Stephen Amell could play the Batman. After watching Code 8, you will probably start picturing him as another superhero, and this time he will not be pointing an arrow at your face and say “You have failed this city” but “I am Vengeance. I am the Night. I am Batman”.
The last movie to be released under the DC banner was Joker. The official film synopsis for the movie reads:
Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as The Joker.