The Dark Knight

Bomb Rating: 

Whenever a superhero is faced with some kind of ethical dilemma, an imaginary line is drawn between good and evil. This is encompassed in the idea, which we’ve all heard, that if you behave like a criminal, then you’re no worse than the criminal. Didn’t your mother ever tell you, for instance, that if you respond in kind to some action that was hurtful you become “no better than the person who did that to you?” A good example for me would be in eighth grade when this fat kid annoyed me in gym class, so I clothslined him when he was running by and got the entire class of 75 students to dogpile on top of him. He annoyed me, so I annoyed him back and suddenly I was no better than he was. That’s a load of crap.

This whole ethical conundrum is, of course, complete bullshit, which means that “The Dark Knight” is complete bullshit. My bullshit thesis is fully supported by the simple comparison between Batman’s (Christian Bale) choice to allow his former girlfriend, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), to die in order to save Gotham’s potential savior, District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). So let’s put aside other valid criticisms like the absolutely ludicrous idea that a lawyer can be the savior of anything and also throw aside the obvious sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen given that Dent is dating Dawes and she works for him and just deal with the ethical problem – Batman chooses for Dent to live and Dawes to die.

What Batman can’t do, apparently, is rip The Joker’s (Heath Ledger) head off during an interrogation sequence and end Gotham’s nightmare. He can sentence the love of his life to death, but he can’t kill the guy responsible. And I’m not writing figuratively about ripping the Joker’s head off. I’m talking literally. Objectively, the guy is a menace and guilty beyond doubt. Besides, Batman is perceived as a vigilante anyway, so what’s the problem? The problem is that if Batman commits murder, then he’s a murderer and subject to prosecution, which is why one should never save a lawyer from anything if at all possible.

The entire movie is like a set of ethical stepping stones, except most of them are made of Styrofoam and you sink when you step on them. Batman only reaches the end of his ethical chain when he considers killing The Joker. Batman’s assistant, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), reaches the end of his ethical chain when Batman starts using technology to spy on everyone in Gotham so that he can locate The Joker. “Where does it all end?” Fox cries. Here’s what Batman’s answer should be: “What do you not understand about the employer/employee relationship you ungrateful twit?”

Perhaps Batman sees a conflict given his limited, subjective point-of-view. Fortunately, my point-of-view in this whole thing is omniscient and objective. I know the Joker is guilty, so get rid of him. No problem. And do I see a real world correlation to all this in the war on terrorism? Sure I do, but that doesn’t absolve George W. Bush of crossing the ethical line of wire-tapping my phone in the name of anti-terror because, well shit, it’s my phone.

One thing is real life. The other is a damn movie. If we’re going to extract life lessons from Hollywood, our war on terror is going to be in a lot of trouble, if it isn’t already.

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Average: 3.9 (67 votes)

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First's first firsties.

michael3b's picture


And how long did you have to sit hunched over your...

Mal_Content's picture

computer to achieve that?


Only long enough for my bottomsies...

michael3b's picture go numb.

Great review, one slight mistake though.... (spoilers)

MH's picture

Batman thought he was saving Rachel - remember, Joker lied about where Rachel was and where Harvey was because he knew Batman would want to save Rachel himself. Thus, you have Batman willing to sacrifice the city's "savior" for the girl he likes, and the Joker fucking with him because of it.

I thought so!

michael3b's picture

Ah, well- still one of the better reviews.

Movie scenes I'd like to see

FearlessFreep's picture

 I'd like to see a movie where Batman ponders which one to save, can't make up his mind, and finally says, "Screw this, let him kill both of them.  Guess I'll go get drunk."

Ah, A Cranky review at last!

scarlet_ohara's picture

It was like going through heroin withdrawals.

Glad to see you Mr. C.

Right, so then this is the main forum?

TMundo's picture

Come on, does anyone have a clue what's going on here? If this becomes the main forum, will the other compartments die out?

Back to the Good Old Days

FearlessFreep's picture

 Old geezers like me remember a time in the '90s when there was no single main forum!  The Golden Age is back!

check out the culturally relevant blog I just posted

TMundo's picture

I miss the old forum style of..

Deibs's picture


The Illuminati...ain't what it used to be.

michael3b's picture

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - It wasn't the preferred way to enter the Knoxville Museum of Art, but Richard Anthony Smith told police he was on a mission. The 25-year-old Knoxville man called 911 from his cell phone before dawn Wednesday saying he was trapped in an air conditioning duct leading from the museum roof, Knoxville police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said.

what a croc, indeed

brinev's picture

The entire review is based on his misunderstanding the movie. As other commenters pointed out, Batman chose to save his girl but was tricked. So...if the erronious understanding of the movie is the foundation of the review, the review is bullshit. Not to mention, what kind of fucking moron can't follow the plot of a Batman movie?

...but still valid

gunneos's picture

Not when the Batman movie has been directed by someone like Christopher fucking Nolan. It's like you need a PHD to understand The Dark Knight or something, the way everyone's going on about what a smartass movie it was. And yes, the reviewer misunderstood the film, but there's still no reason why this didn't happen:

"What Batman can’t do, apparently, is rip The Joker’s (Heath Ledger) head off during an interrogation sequence and end Gotham’s nightmare."

Fighting fire with fire being wrong is bullshit.

Saw the movie last night

FearlessFreep's picture

It was very effective at creating an atmosphere of dread--so effective that I had to leave about halfway through. It got to me, maybe because it wasn't so much about grim fate as grim chance. (I can't watch movies about gambling.)


The artist formerly known as Zorro.

Your thesis is wrong

Anonymous's picture

Batman thought he was saving Rachel. The Joker knew he would choose Rachel over Dent, and so, wanting Dent to live, he gave Batman the wrong address; plus, Rachel dying emotionally wounded both men.

Also, since Dent was his ace in the hole, the Joker wanted the best man (Batman) saving Dent. As to why he'd try to kill Dent if he wanted him to live, a) he's insane and b) he needed the threat of it -- if it went wrong, the Joker wasn't short of plans. He'd dream up another nightmare for Gotham.

The review should be rethought, since its explicit thesis -- pushed forcefully in the review, is incorrect.


DegenerateAlias's picture

Look you twit if you had actually watched the movie instead of wasting 5 minutes of my life reading this ludicrous review, you would know that Batman didn't set out to save Dent, the Joker switched the locations so that Batman would save him and Dawes would die, and as for your perverse comparison of this movie to the Presidents second term (not even mentioning that people like you voted him in twice) it's a pointless attempt to force your point of view on people.

"Force your point of view on

gunneos's picture

"Force your point of view on people"? You're kidding. It's a review, of course he's doing that. As to your first sentence, it's a sad thing they don't allow editing here, because you make no sense. Unless you literally meant he read the review for you, which means you must be visually handicapped in some way.


Fat Puzzie Lipz's picture

this board reeks of an odor much more strong and rank than anything between my legs can conjure up!

Batman lets Maggie die?

Rajah's picture

Hey, I like her! Fuck this Batman!

Besides, wearing capes is gay

Batman's next ride: a flying car!

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Worlds first flying car to cost $200,000. 

And that's without the George Jetson mudflaps! 

From the London Times:

{;-) Dan in Miami

switched addresses

Anonymous's picture

the joker switched the addresses. batman thought he was going to save rachel.

Shittest review ever! HAHA!

Anonymous's picture

Shittest review ever! HAHA!

You got it wrong

Anonymous's picture

Batman chose to save his girlfriend you idiot, the joker tricked him

I clearly remembered that it

Steven from Taiwan's picture

I clearly remembered that it was joker who told Batman the opposite address of the hidden places of Rachel and Harvey. But I do think your ethical thesis is good!

Batman doesn't choose Dawes over Dent...dadadipshite

Whitehawk's picture

Batman is sent to the wrong address when he goes to save Dawes but instead finds Dent. The Joker mixes up the addresses on purpose knowing that Batman will go to save Dawes- so the criticism that Batman would rather save a lawer instead of his love is ignorant and obviously a missed point. the Joker controls all situations throughout the film.

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