Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Dark Knight's Agenda
There is a opinion piece in the Wall Street Journalabout the movie "The Dark Knight." The author compares Batman to George Bush. Now, I try to avoid politics, but this was too much. Sure, lots of movies and TV shows have political agendas. "The West Wing" was liberal and "24" is conservative. And back in the 40s, when Superman regularly kicked Hitler's ass, that was a definite political statement.
However, I couldn't agree with this article because I see no connection between Batman and George Bush. The movie delves into the problem of dealing with terrorism and heroes having to do dark things to achieve good goals, but that's an old comic book device that's been around since the 80s. I think it's unfair to attach this very popular movie to a specific political agenda. But since the WSJ has opened the door, I felt it only fair to show how the movie would have gone if Batman were exactly like George Bush.
"The Dark Knight" begins with the Joker doing horrible crimes and telling the media that if Batman didn't turn himself in, the Joker would do even more terrible things. Batman sees the news report and immediately jumps into the batmobile, but instead of driving to the heart of Gotham to confront the Joker, Batman drives to Houston, Texas instead.
When Alfred, Batman's trusty butler, realizes where Batman is headed, Alfred calls him on the batphone and asks why he isn't dealing directly with the Joker. Batman explains that the Riddler just recently got out of jail and has gone back to his old job as CEO of a large corporation in Houston. Batman is on his way there to take out the Riddler as a preemptive strike against evil. Besides, the corporation that the Riddler is working for is one that Wayne Enterprises has been trying to get their hands on for ages. Since Batman is Bruce Wayne, head of Wayne Enterprises, he can kill two birds with one stone.
Batman gets to Houston and catches the Riddler in his office doing cross word puzzles. The Riddler is surprised to see Batman. He tries to fight the dark knight, but he lost of all his clever Riddler weapons way back when he went to jail. Batman kills the Riddler easily and takes over the corporation.
Meanwhile, back in Gotham, the Joker is running the city. Batman promises to save Gotham as soon as he has finished liberating the Riddler's corporation.