The Dark Knight Rises can’t come out soon enough. 2008’s installment was one of the most timely movies in recent years, in that the metaphors that resonated with so many people were exactly what they needed to hear—so much so that the Wall Street Journal was linking Batman with a certain war-time president. The idea that some men want to “just watch the world burn” is one that doesn’t sit well with liberals, because it immediately destroys the charade that you can solve global threats through “dialogue” alone. Dialogue doesn’t always work, particularly when you’re dealing with irrational people. It also most certainly doesn’t work when it’s not backed up by the very real threat of force.
And that’s where The Dark Knight Rises comes in. In the new trailer, one can’t help but think of the phrase, “All that is required for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” Or, if you’re a fan of Edmund Burke, you might think, “”When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” Either way, Commissioner Gordon spells it out quite clearly for Bruce:
Commissioner Gordon: “We were in this together and then you were gone. Now this evil rises. The Batman has to come back.”
Bruce Wayne: “What if he doesn’t exist anymore?”
Commissioner Gordon: “He must. He must…”
Bruce Wayne, like all of us, is fallible. Like many Americans, he doesn’t want to believe that The Batman has to exist, but “he must.” He must because there are evil men. He must because we don’t live in the morally relativistic world liberal professors try and inculcate their freshman students to believe in.
What makes the character even more convincing is that he can be hurt. Badly (see Batman Begins for Exhibit A). Just like the real world, confronting evil means that you just might die if you take on the challenge. Take a look at Batman’s face as Bane closes in on him in the teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises—there’s some serious fear in his eyes. Fans of the comic know why…
Is Christopher Nolan a closet conservative? I don’t know. But no matter what he does—no matter what he says from this day forward—he can never take back this trilogy (thank God). It’s a gold mine of conservative values waiting to be explored. It’s a series of movies that fathers can talk about with their sons and daughters for generations. Those “silly” comic books can sometimes serve as a springboard for much deeper discussions, and when it’s all said and done Christopher Nolan will have gone three-for-three.
Not bad for a kid from London. Mark your calendars for July 20th, 2012. It’s going to be a great night to head to the theaters.