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The Dark Knight

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The most disappointing part for me was the ending. How they spoke of batman shouldering the burdens because he could. just sounded like a precursor to socialism but starting with the spirit. The heroic in the characters were killed by their flaws and their reliance on each other.

The acting was good, especially by Ledger and the sotry was decent but i like a movie that makes you feel uplifted.

Instead i was presented with a hero who was easily corrupted(Dent), another hero with a conflicted sense of justice that made him take all the burden of actiosn he did not cause(Batman) and the only character with real conviction was the Joker.

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The whole point of Batman is that he is the hero that most view as some kind of burden, but Batman ignores the masses and does it because it is the right thing to do. If you were expecting Batman to run off with his girlfriend and be happy at the end of "The Dark Knight", you're very disconnected from the whole Batman story.

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Instead i was presented with a hero who was easily corrupted(Dent)...

Easily corrupted? As was stated earlier here, Dent was one of the few character with some real principles. He was driven insane (Which I would call different from simply being "corrupted") because he had to deal with the pain of losing his highest value (Rachel). In that state, it is completely believable that he would be open to the Joker's coercion. I mean, do you really think he would have ended up the way he did if Rachel had been fine and dandy?

...another hero with a conflicted sense of justice that made him take all the burden of actiosn he did not cause(Batman)...

I'm a bit more on-the-fence with this one, but I think you have to take his actions into context. Gotham is hardly a normal or rational world -- and Batman does whatever he can to try to save it. That is his highest value. Wanting to see the world changed for the better, for justice to finally have a meaning, is not an altruistic or irrational value to hold, and considering the context of his fight (Literally, that of one man against the world), I think certain considerations are required on his behalf. While far from the perfect hero, I think he is quite a bit better than most Hollywood gives us these days.

...and the only character with real conviction was the Joker.

Excuse me? Maybe I missed an important part of the story, but I thought that the whole point of the Joker was that he was a raging nihilist -- his only "conviction" was that he hated everything equally and wanted it all turned to ashes.

Edited by Sarrisan

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I think I will agree that Dent was not easily corrupted. But I do not think it was solely because he lost Rachel. Yeah he lost the woman he loved but he also saw his system of justice and security corrupted and turned back against him in the taking of her life. This I think was what destroyed him because it did not just destroy his values but turned the end of one to the destruction of the other.

I suppose I could understand Batman's value being Gotham's safety but he undermines his own fight for justice by denying himself justice. He takes the full burden of Two-face's crimes. I think that denying justice and truth to cause people to reform is an empty goal and victory if achieved because it is built on a falsehood. Not to mention without the truth they cannot fix their police force which likely had more corrupt members than Two-faces victims.

The Joker is a nihilist definitely but he seems to be the only character who does not change due to circumstances. It seemed like everyone was compromised but him. I do not agree with his view but he showed a kind of fervor that was somewhat impressive in its absolution.

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The most disappointing part for me was the ending. How they spoke of batman shouldering the burdens because he could. just sounded like a precursor to socialism but starting with the spirit. The heroic in the characters were killed by their flaws and their reliance on each other.

The acting was good, especially by Ledger and the sotry was decent but i like a movie that makes you feel uplifted.

Instead i was presented with a hero who was easily corrupted(Dent), another hero with a conflicted sense of justice that made him take all the burden of actiosn he did not cause(Batman) and the only character with real conviction was the Joker.

I agree with your sense of life sentiment. This movie was very malevolent. Not only did I think the reaction of society towards Batman, and his own wimpy resoluteness was depressing and completely uninspiring, but I remember the pivotal scene where Batman captures the Joker who was hanging from a building’s girders.

At that moment I thought of one of two crucial outcomes – either Batman would kill the Joker (or simply drop him), or Batman would come full circle with his futile malevolency and spare the Joker and turn him into an incompetent police force that he knew was incompetent and, at the very least, ineffectual in handling such a powerfully evil villain.

It portrayed the men of the mind, the heroes, as hopelessly weak, and portrayed the men of evil and destruction as unceasingly powerful. That’s what I call a malevolent universe! If Batman killed the Joker right then and there, I would have cheered. Since he didn’t, I found myself hoping that Batman would have slipped on a girder and get killed, because then this moldy vegetable of a movie would finally end.

I also had a hard time actually believing that an evil villain could become so powerful, and effortlessly destroy anything he wished. That is totally against the metaphysics of Objectivism, and the accuracy of the Benevolent Universe Premise.

By the way, I love Batman, especially in the Animated Series.

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HItler ring a bell? Raised up a nation in a few years. An entire nation.

I'll ignore your not-nice sarcasm, and do a simple compare and contrast regarding the believability of the existence of the Joker:

Hitler - had entire state and military behind him as well as being elected due to bad, and culturally-entrenched philosophy, which developed over decades.

Joker - had some thugs, and the mentally ill (who SOMEHOW overcame their illness to carryout well-organized evil-doing), no philosophical backing, just happens to show up and do evil things in a fairly rational culture.

Let's remember:

The only way evil wins in the real world is that good people do nothing about it. For Hitler, the anti-reason philosophy of the time made his destruction possible. It makes no sense how the Joker became THAT powerful. After all, "evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us." (AS)

And...

"The source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment—on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict 'It is.'" (AS)

Bottom line: evil is the stupid and inefficient. Perhaps I could cite the billions of cases where real-life criminals are complete idiots, but I don't think I need to.

To better understand this, I suggest Andy Bernstein's wonderful lecture, "Villainy and the Nature of Evil."

Another comparison:

Joker - purely nihilistic, action for no value at all, lacking any moral justification, insane yet intelligent and functional, which is an epistemological contradiction

Hitler - working to eliminate a certain race of people whom he thought were evil, all his actions were built upon evil rationalizations, morally justified by philosophers, but had some hint of value-orientation, albiet twisted (Ayrian Race, etc.)

To better understand this, I suggest reading "The Ominous Parallels" by Dr. Leonard Peikoff.

A better comparison would be Charles Manson, but I don't think I need to elaborate on the comparisons. I've admired and loved the character of Batman, primarily because he was the most realistic super-hero ever -- one that might exist today. I cannot say the same for the characterizations in this movie, therefore the meaning was entirely empty for me.

Hope that helps!

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Quite frankly, I could easily plant bombs around my town with some druggies and malcontents. It isn't hard to cause chaos. A more down-to-earth example than Hitler, the 9/11 Hijackers.

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The Joker did win.

No, he didn't. Out of all the citizens he put to the test, he only broke one: Dent. Supposedly "the best of all", but that's in Batman's quite humble opinion. Considering the facts, Batman is easily the "best": he got his parents and the love of his life killed yet he still fights for justice. Dent, on the other hand, wants to start killing little children when his girlfriend dies.

The movie's message should perhaps have been more clear, but after some thought it's evident that the Joker failed in most of what he was trying to accomplish: he couldn't make the citizens of Gotham "eat themselves up", and he couldn't corrupt Batman (he says this explicitly to him in one of the last scenes.) He only succeeded with Dent. This, I guess, is true for real life: for some people it may take a "push" to fall into insanity, others, though, are unbreakable. This message is not so clear in the film since it finishes with the Joker's victory (Dent) rather than with his failures (corrupting every other citizen and Batman.) But the defeat of evil in the film still comes across.

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But the defeat of evil in the film still comes across.

Doesn't that movie end with Batman offering one last sacrifice, a lie which everyone agrees is the only means of allowing the city to go forward? Isn't that evil?

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Doesn't that movie end with Batman offering one last sacrifice, a lie which everyone agrees is the only means of allowing the city to go forward? Isn't that evil?

Only if you take it as the ultimate sacrifice for Batman, which it really isn't. If people consider him evil or whatever, he just doesn't care. He does what he believes is right for achieving his ideals.

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No, he (the Joker) didn't (win).

There was a scene that I just had to laugh at.

The Joker gathered up all the cash he stole from the Mob banks in a single warehouse and set fire to it all ("just my own half"). Supposedly this was him nihilistically destroying several hundred million dollar's worth of value. Here's the rub - paper dollars of themselves are worthless, and are only means to obtaining goods. By destroying some of that paper he increased the value of the remaining paper because the number of goods was untouched. Therefore rather than destroying value in reality what he actually did was make a gift of that enormous value (at the expense of the Mob, which was admittedly thus at the expense of their victims) to every user of US dollars!

I don't know if Nolan was aware of this, but if he did it was an excellent and subtle way of letting people know of the ultimate incompetence of evil.

JJM

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Only if you take it as the ultimate sacrifice for Batman, which it really isn't. If people consider him evil or whatever, he just doesn't care. He does what he believes is right for achieving his ideals.

Why is that lie necessary? By what reasoning is a society based on that lie a proper, healthy one, worthy of being chosen as the ideal, the ultimate purpose of a hero?

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Why is that lie necessary? By what reasoning is a society based on that lie a proper, healthy one, worthy of being chosen as the ideal, the ultimate purpose of a hero?

Who says that society is ideal? The movie makes it clear that Gotham's still in the pits, but is supposed to be on the road to recovery.

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Joker - purely nihilistic, action for no value at all, lacking any moral justification, insane yet intelligent and functional, which is an epistemological contradiction

He wasn't entirely nihilistic. He started the movie with the intention of bringing the mob back to its glory days by killing Batman, until he has his "change of heart", and decides that he doesn't want to kill Batman and starts bringing anarchy to the city.

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He wasn't entirely nihilistic. He started the movie with the intention of bringing the mob back to its glory days by killing Batman, until he has his "change of heart", and decides that he doesn't want to kill Batman and starts bringing anarchy to the city.

I think his "change of heart" was that he realised that by killing Batman, he would no longer have a worthy opponent to match himself against, therefore his existence would no longer have meaning.

Edited for grammer.

Edited by Maximus

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I can't remember where Ayn Rand gives her definition of what an anti-hero is but according to wikipedia Batman is a good example. I do not believe that Batman should be termed an anti-hero. He seems to possess all of the characteristics of a hero. I am not sure what qualities would suggest him to be an anti-hero.

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I can't remember where Ayn Rand gives her definition of what an anti-hero is but according to wikipedia Batman is a good example. I do not believe that Batman should be termed an anti-hero. He seems to possess all of the characteristics of a hero. I am not sure what qualities would suggest him to be an anti-hero.

In many comics, Batman is reviled by the people of Gotham. The more mainstream, film-based and televized Batmans have a batman who is embraced by Gotham, of course until this movie, which is one of the reasons why it is so great for any fan of the comics. They are REALLY getting it right this time. I think people who condemn this movie are doing so perhaps out of ignorance of the character, which is fine, but Batman isn't sacrificing anything in any true sense. What the problem here is just an issue of nomenclature.

Anyway, they consider Batman an anti-hero because he is good despite going against societal norms. There are various examples of anti-heroes in film and novels. Tony Montana of Scarface might be a more appropriate definition, IMO. He is portrayed as a good guy, despite obviously being a true villain.

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I really liked this movie up until the last 15 minutes

The Joker reminded me of Toohey...he knew which buttons to push. He really embodied evil so much better than any villain I've seen in cinema for the past few years. The fact that Batman took Dents sins on as his own really ruined how great the movie was for me.

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