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.
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).
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.
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