Over the weekend, I finally got around to viewing The Dark Knight Rises. If I’m being honest, for me it didn’t quite live up to the hype – I enjoyed the flick, no doubt, but neither I nor the group of guys who joined me were astounded by it. I’d rate it a weak B, more likely a B-. Definitely worth seeing, just not a masterpiece of cinema.
Jerry Bowyer, however, offers a fascinating political/philosophical analysis of the film which certainly contributed a greater level of appreciation for me. Batman, Occupy Wall Street, the French Revolution, Edmund Burke? In a comic book movie Bowyer styles “an instant Concervative Classic”? Well, that’s pretty cool.
Check it out (warning, some spoilers follow) …
The film is not without some emotional, if not moral, sympathy for the foolish young idealists of OWS. Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman, is a morally confused young woman who wages class warfare through jewel thievery. She takes from those who, in her estimation, have too much. She delights in the fact that “There’s a storm coming,” and that Gotham’s rich are living too well, and on borrowed time. But when the storm comes, she sees the evil of it. A young protégé reminds Selina that this is exactly what she has been calling for, but now that it’s here, Selina sees that it is far worse than what it replaced. This is Nolan’s way of saying “Hey, idiot in the Che t-shirt, smarten up. If deep down you are the decent person you claim to be, you’ll hate the revolution you’ve been wishing for.”
About halfway through the film, I turned to my wife and said “It’s Dickens.” By which I meant the movie is a modern retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, albeit much lousier with hovercrafts and nuclear bombs. Bane is Robespierre, Miranda (played by French actress Marion Cotillard) is Madame Defarge. Batman is Sydney Carton. Now every time I write something like this, some joker (pun not intended) writes to me and says that I’m reading too much into it, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and it’s just a movie. I think I dislike those comments even more than the purely oppositional ones because they wallow in their own laziness and ignorance [...]