Don’t You Think the Joker Laughs at You?

Are you ready for a review of a movie that pretty much everyone else saw a long time ago? This time, it’s The Dark Knight. Quite frankly, I thought it dragged and was a little hard to follow, although Beth might have been right that this might have been less of an issue at the theater. I don’t know. I also have to say I found this conception of Batman rather unlikeable, although maybe he was supposed to be. It was difficult to tell. I’d seen this movie compared to the tactics of the Bush administration, what with its torture and wiretapping. While perhaps exaggerated, it does seem like it would be impossible to have made a movie involving torture in the last few years WITHOUT the Bush policies in mind. The real issue with this, though, isn’t politics so much as that we can often excuse fictional heroes for doing morally ambiguous methods because we know their causes are noble and they aren’t going to take advantage of such things. With Batman as he was portrayed here, however, I’m not sure that’s the case. Isn’t his whole thing supposed to be that, while he’s scary and beats people up, he always has a strong sense of justice? I guess that doesn’t extend to due process. Along similar lines, I recently came across an image on Tumblr showing screen caps from the Nolan movies that had Batman threatening someone for information, accompanied by a caption saying something like, “Batman, World’s Greatest Detective.” Again, I think there’s a valid point there. When all we see is him beating people until they sing, does that give us much confidence in his analytical skills?

Okay, so what about the Joker? Well, no offense to the late Heath Ledger, but I didn’t really think he was particularly scary. Mean and nasty for no reason, absolutely, but almost too dorky to be frightening. And only occasionally did I get the sense that he found his violent crimes funny, which I figured was kind of his whole thing. I’m no expert, mind you, but he IS called the Joker. I will say that I wasn’t bothered by something I’d seen other people complain about, which is that he claims to be an agent of chaos, but actually has pretty elaborate plans. The image he wanted people to have of him doesn’t necessarily have to reflect what he does behind the scenes, does it? Besides, villains lie, don’t they? Speaking of villains, I kind of think there wasn’t enough of Two-Face, but I also feel there wasn’t really supposed to be, as he was really just the end result of Harvey Dent’s fall from grace. And I thought the film did well with Dent for the most part, so I’m not complaining too much about that element. The film had its merits, but I’m going to have to say I found it overrated. I still intend to see The Dark Knight Rises, so we’ll see if I like that one better.

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3 Responses to Don’t You Think the Joker Laughs at You?

  1. rocketdave says:

    Oh, boy, if you didn’t care for “The Dark Knight,” I don’t think there’s much hope of you liking “Rises” any better. The apparent conservative slant is even harder to ignore in that movie. Batman’s lack of detective skills from “Batman Begins” onwards has been a common complaint. In spite of these faults, I think Nolan turned in a pretty solid trilogy. However, I look forward to a different (and possibly somewhat more lighthearted) take on Batman in the next movie.

  2. Pingback: Flushing the Evil Bane Down the Drain | VoVatia

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