The Dark Knight Rises

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On July 20th, the movie, The Dark Knight Rises comes to theaters.  The previous movie, The Dark Knight was an incredible film in every way.  Maybe my favorite movie of all time.  It hit on the fact that sometimes, a person or group has to stand up and do the dirty work that others won’t do.  That people will nit-pick every action even though they have no idea how difficult the job is, or how evil and relentless is the foe.  I wrote a article  on The Dark Knight a few years back on my old blog.  Here it is:

I purchased the movie, The Dark Knight, yesterday and watched it for the second time. The first time I saw it, I was on a long flight to Frankfurt and missed large portions because I fell asleep. This is the best movie I’ve seen in decades. Simply awesome. The writing the acting, the effects and cinematography. The only thing wrong was a few lapses in maintaining my suspension of disbelief. But, it is based on a comic book character afterall. Christian Bale’s real-life anger-management issues translate well to Batman’s character and Heath Ledger was great as the Joker.

The Joker doesnt play nice, even with fake Batmen...The Joker doesn’t play nice, even with fake Batmen…

There are so many good quotes in the movie that I think I’ll have a pen and pad near me the next time I watch it.

Here’s a few:

Joker, while he is Harvey Dent’s (as Two Face) hospital room: “Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just… do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon’s got plans. You know, they’re schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.”

Neal Adams wrote and drew Batman when I was a kid.Still the best: Neal Adams wrote and drew Batman when I was a kid.

Two Face, while holding James Gordon’s son hostage and confronting Batman: “You thought we could be decent men, in an indecent time! You were wrong. The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance. Unbyist, unprejudiced… fair. His son’s got the same chance she had, 50/50.”

Batman, talking to Alfred about letting the truth about Harvey Dent’s murders, out to the public; Batman thinks  the truth ought to be hidden: “Because sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes, people deserve more .”

Batman: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I can do those things because I’m not a hero, like Dent…I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.”

The Joker: “You know the thing about chaos? It’s fair.”

Alfred, to Batman: “Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

The are tons more. I began to see the movie as an allegory for America’s place in the world and the War on Terror. The Joker is a terrorist of the worst kind. He’s into terror for terror’s sake. He can’t be appeased. There’s no goal that will halt is aggression. He simply likes chaos.

Batman is America, Gotham the post-modern world–dark and full of frightful truths. The Joker wants Batman to unmask himself or he’ll continue to murder people around the city. Gotham’s citizens begin to call for the arrest of Batman, thinking this will end the Reign of Terror. The movie ends, after Two Face gut-shoots Batman. Batman runs away as the police chase him. He’s fought crime the only way he knows how. He’s faced the evil which others can only talk about from Ivory Towers. Dirty and dying, chased by the authorities, he jumps on his motorcycle and makes an escape. Alfred says: Batman’s no hero…he’s a Dark Knight.

Alfred Pennyworth capped the allegory, with Batman as America: “Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.”

America has done what it needed to, like Batman. It fought evil while everyone else watched and complained. It got dirty because fighting evil is a dirty business, not the business of the pipe-smoking intelligencia or starry-eyed journalists. Real men fight evil.

There was more real-life truth–raw truth– in this movie than maybe in any other I’ve ever seen. Normally to me, Hollywood is a joke. A huge charicature of itself. Cliche’, badly acted movies make up the normal selection of this summers greatest hits. But not this time. Someone actually gets it. I’ll be back for the next one, ’cause this one had grit.

Please, please, please don’t screw up the Watchmen, Frank Miller.


2 thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises

    r said:
    July 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Bale made a great Batman and Ledger did the best Joker — ever. However, Legers’s Joker was the most evil and psychotic villian ever on screen. He far surpassed Alien, the Vampires, Zombies and that ilk because –I think — he was believable. He could actually exist and that is what made him so frightening. I think the reality and the pure evil of that character led to Ledger’s depression and ultimate death.

    Bill said:
    July 26, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I agree it was really well done and like R notes, the acting by Ledger was just amazing. The only quibble i had was the drug dealers and that scene, they just seemed like (to quote jesse from breaking bad) the non-criminals notion of what criminals look like. However I walk out of 95% of the movies I see rolling my eyes and regretting wasting the time to see them – but I loved this movie. I didn’t see the new one – unfortunately we were planning on going but the shooting happened the night before and my wife thought it a bit tacky to go right after it happened (I didn’t agree but part of being happily married is letting the other person ‘be right’ even when you really think they aren’t). B/c of what happened it’s hard to get a honest review on it – most people want to pontificate about the political implications of what happened, and are either overly critical or overly positive – My guess though is that even if it’s not as good as this was (can’t imagine how it could – especially without Ledger) it’ll still be pretty cool.

    Having taken your advice on several books and enjoyed them all, I’d be curious what other movies you found excellent in recent times. Prior to 2000 I was good about seeing new movies and keeping up with things people recommended, but over the last decade I’ve let a lot slipped by with the “Oh I need to see that” list getting bigger much faster than I watch them.

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