Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Dark Knight

Last night, Farrah and I watched The Dark Knight, the highly acclaimed sequel to Batman Begins, and I wanted to share some elements that allude to the redemption that Jesus Christ bought for us.

Movie review

As a whole, the movie was too long. Half an hour could have easily been left on the cutting room floor (or the digital bit bucket), without losing anything relevant to the plot.

This movie is also quite violent. It avoided an R rating by pulling the camera away, just before several potentially gory scenes, but the implied violence definitely exceeds the comparatively mild PG-13 rating it actually got. We watched it on our ClearPlay DVD player, which muted the occasional bad language and skipped past a slew of violence.

Even though the whole world was enamored with the late Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker, Jack Nicholson did a far better job, when he played the part, nearly twenty years ago. This Joker was too crazy; the lack of a background story or a motive greatly took away from his character. To me, he was more of an annoyance, than a worthy foe to Batman.

By contrast, the Harvey Dent character was extremely well written and acted. In my opinion, he was the one who stole the show.

The highlight for me was the tension and resolution of the scenes with the two ferries, jam-packed with people, and rigged to explode. Without spoiling anything, I'll just say that I was very moved by the performance of a big, buff, former wrestler, nicknamed "Tiny" (whom I've seen in other imposing roles).

Batman's sacrifice


A running theme in the movie was Batman's quest to find a "hero with a face", that the people of Gotham can look up to. He thought he found that hero in District Attorney Harvey Dent. As Bruce Wayne, he held a fundraiser for him, lifting him up as a hero to be looked up to. Unfortunately (for all involved), the Joker decided to make it a project to turn Dent to the Dark Side (a la Emperor Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker). Like Satan, he knew that even if he could not defeat Batman directly, he could achieve victory by destroying his creation. He is marvelously successful in turning Dent to a villain, scarred inside and out.

Upon the death of Dent, Batman makes a familar decision: in order to preserve the people's good perception of Dent, he takes the blame for the five people Dent murdered, clearing Dent's name and reputation, while becoming a fugitive himself. Only his closest allies, including Police Commissioner James Gordon (and Gordon's son), know the truth.

As Batman speeds away, chased by scores of K-9 units, Gordon tells his son (paraphrased), "He's the hero the people deserve, but not what they need right now." The implication, if I understand it correctly, is that Batman is a true hero, but is forced to play a lesser role, for the good of the people of Gotham.

Jesus, the Son of God, God Incarnate, and Lord of all, deserved to be praised and adored as the King of Kings, when He first came, 2000 years ago. But instead, "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). What we needed at the time (and still) was for the King of Kings to redeem us, by becoming sin.

When the time comes, He will return and assume His role as Lord of Lords... and all will recognize Him for what He truly is.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Return of the Blogger

Quick update

WOW!!! Hard to believe that it's been more than a month since my last post. Every year, my wife reminds me that December and January are our busiest months, and I always seem to forget. To give you an idea of just how busy we've been, not only have I not done any blogging in over a month, but I also haven't played any basketball, either, which is my favorite sport.

The busiest time for us is actually after New Year's, when we prepare an elaborate birthday party for our son. Every year, I say, "Hon, let's go simple this time, shall we?" And every year, we end up putting up a big production! LOL! This year, it was Star Wars, a favorite of ours. I spent an entire week (including a couple all-nighters!), preparing a DVD invitation, in which we captured some scenes from the original trilogy and did our own voice-overs. It was a blast, and I cannot wait for our next project! Click here for more details, on my wife's blog.

What's even more amazing, is that during this hiatus, two more "followers" have added themselves to my blog!!! I just want to reassure you all that this blog is an integral part of my ministry, and I am excited to continue posting interesting entries and fellowshipping with all of you.

I have a couple posts in mind, as well as the long-awaited continuation to my current Frequently Asked Friday series on love and sin. Stay tuned!