I never much followed comic books when I was growing up, and when I did read them, I was more into Richie Rich and Little Lotta and the more amusing books. To me, Superman and Batman were TV shows. Superman on TV was exciting when I was a little kid, and Batman was fun and quirky when I was a little older.
The past 25 years have given us one super-hero movie after another, from the Chris Reeves Superman to the Spiderman Triolgy to various iterations of the Batman saga.
Last night we all went to see the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.” It was extremely intense and troubling, and there was nothing comic about it. That being said, it was a very good movie, in my opinion, and one of those films that makes you think for a long time after the lights come back up, and you’ve thrown your popcorn container into the overflowing trash bin.
People have written about this movie, and about how it can be taken as a metaphor for our current day struggles with radical Islam. I don’t pretend to know what the film’s writers had in mind, so I won’t go down the terrorism road per se, but I do like that the film is okay with a theme of good versus evil. In this movie we see that within the “good” world, there are different shades, and within the “evil” world there are different shades, but they aren’t shy about saying that there exists real evil.
I think we’re uncomfortable with the whole good versus evil thing. We’re uncomfortable calling ourselves “good.” So, we backtrack and struggle to point out our flaws and faults. And, we struggle to provide reasons and excuses for those who are evil, since we hate the idea of being judgemental. And we do both of these things individually, socio-economically, and as a nation.
And, while we’re tying ourselves in knots of what might be called political correctness, the bad guys just keep doing what they do without any introspection whatsoever. Evil has an advantage, because it has no conscience. That applies to rapists and street criminals and con men and terrorists.
Anyway, see the movie if you haven’t. The performances are excellent, and Heath Ledger’s is as good as you’ve heard. Don’t take anyone under 16, and prepare to be shocked by a few of the scenes, and prepare also to be provoked into thought by this movie. The good and evil part is clear. The how to deal with good and evil part isn’t, which i guess that also reflects the real world we live in.