Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Batman & Bush Co-Crusaders? Hmmm....

Filed under: "I Never Thought About It From That Perspective"
Here's an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Andrew Klavin comparing the recent Batman Movie, "The Dark Knight" to President George "W" Bush and the war on terror.
"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror -- films like "In The Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Redacted" -- which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.

Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?

The moment filmmakers take on the problem of Islamic terrorism in realistic films, suddenly those values vanish. The good guys become indistinguishable from the bad guys, and we end up denigrating the very heroes who defend us. Why should this be?

The answers to these questions seem to me to be embedded in the story of "The Dark Knight" itself: Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.

I haven't seen the film yet, though I want to. I imagine such thoughts will illicit either hearty "Amens" or cause people's blood to boil.

Interesting take, nevertheless.


Joshua said...

I've been discussing this movie on a webboard for the past week or so. I think it would be a great one to use for an RUF movie night.

It is a very well crafted and acted movie, but it is full of moral dilemmas and ideals that beg for a Biblical response. The movie's implicit response is quite Nietzschean, in my opinion, and on both sides of the coin (pun intended).

Brian said...

I saw it with Josh and agree that it's full of questions and quandries. That's exactly why I'm not sure I see the one-sided movie what this reviewer seems to see. I question his review for two particular reasons:

1. Where is his investigation of the actual thoughts and words of the writer/director, Christopher Nolan? Methinks it matters what he thinks, rather than what the reviewer thinks he thinks.

2. Has he considered that people in general just enjoy a superhero flick more than a realistic anti-war flick?

Texana said...

It's on at the IMAX--wish you were here already. Not sure I can wait that long to see it.


ninepoundhammer said...

If that reviewer is, in fact, correct in his assessment of the movie's intent/ perspective, I will not be seeing it. (My blood boils enough as it is.)

John said...

Good thoughts, folks.

The author, methinks, is intentionally being provocative. But he is doing what any critic should do, that is, reflect on what art is saying about who we are as humans and how art illuminates the human condition and our world.

Our part is to agree or disagree with his perspective, and perhaps offer other perspectives.