As we speak, the newest Batman movie, The Dark Knight, is rolling to record weekend box office numbers. Perhaps the darkest superhero movie to descend into theaters, the epic tale of crime, morality and violence is a cautionary one about the consequences of one’s actions in the face of danger.
Of course, that means there is something to learn. And I certainly did just that.
What? Learning lessons from a summer blockbuster? Well, buy a hat and hold the fuck onto it!
(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!)
1. You can let go of morals if you’re a billionaire or work for one.
While many celebrities and powerful people have more money than they know what to do with it, their morality is only a little questionable — occasionally committing crimes that net them more money or put people in danger.
Bruce Wayne is different, though. As Batman, he works to save the citizens of Gotham City with his billions. But when he takes a sonar cellphone gadget from friend and weapons expert Lucius Fox and re-engineers it to spy on everyone in Gotham, he and Lucius both know that The Caped Crusader has gone too far. But it’s to save everyone, so hey, it’s okay!
2. Treating women like objects is A-OK.
When Bruce Wayne enters a self-hosted fund raiser for Harvey Dent, he walks in with three beautiful women. His feelings for said women are nil, as Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhall) is his one true affection. I wonder what escort service Bruce uses, because none of my escorts are that hot or had both of their legs.
3. You can be bad-ass if you talk all gruff-like.
Mild-mannered Bruce Wayne talks like any normal British man pulling off an American accent. But when he slips on the bat cowl, his genial tone transforms into a pissed-off version of The Sea Captain from The Simpsons. Seriously, his voice alone could kick everyone’s asses from the upcoming movie High School Musical 3.
While in Batman Begins, the change in tone and ferocity was only mildly amusing (particularly his spit-flying “SWEAR TO ME!!!” line), the constant gruffness in The Dark Knight was as funny as Katie Holmes’ acting in Begins. Even so, friends and foes feared the man in black — particularly because he could take names with some well-timed punches and kicks. That, or Batman’s breath is kicking like Bruce Lee (aka: his breath stinks).
4. Don’t believe it when someone dies.
Like comic books, when someone dies in a comic-inspired movie, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are truly dead. Much like the reanimated corpse of Flavor Flav, you will be surprised in this movie regarding what happens and who can cheat death.
5. Even fanboys can’t ruin the hype.
Being one with geeky tendencies (ex: my love for video games like Mega Man and Street Fighter, my knowledge of The Jackson 5), I get excited for certain things that most people would shrug off or make fun of others for.
And then there are fanboys: the type of fan that will take their enthusiasm for something way too far, creating shrines for said item online or in their homes, arguing for months in person or online with other fans over trivial items, unable to understand that others have opinions that differ from theirs. (The worst of it was aimed at and answered by a film critic HERE).
But even their overzealousness, the months of advertisements and trailers, the death of Heath Ledger and replaying R. Kelly’s classic Batman and Robin song “Gotham City” (ohh yeah…) weren’t enough to ruin the movie experience for me. Take THAT, “Ain’t It Cool” talkbackers!
This movie was very good — even great — and the best superhero movie I’ve seen, but it was not the end-all, be-all movie that everyone in the internet series of tubes made it out to be. But don’t judge by my thoughts; go see it for yourself. Maybe you’ll learn something as well.