I have to say that I’m stunned by the astuteness and moral depth of the political analyses of the new movie by Clint and Ralph below. And so I interrupt that thread with very great hesitation. But I have to post another political philosophical approach to THE DARK NIGHT by Dr. Schaff of South Dakota. (Scroll down to July 18.) In his view, good is at least as interesting as evil in this film: Bruce Wayne (Batman) and DA Dent respond with prudence and integrity to tough political dilemmas, and the seriousness of their choices, as well as their searching inquiry into their own motives, trump any deficiency (such as excessive earnestness) in their dialogue. The film, in Jon’s view, also makes it quite clear that evil is really evil; the Joker is too cruel and sadistic really to be funny. So when the audience laughs, it is in error.
The Joker, Jon adds, is a Nietzschean; he’s a anti-bourgeois and anti-moral man of action for deep theoretical reasons. And he certainly shows that if you have the "why" (even if the why is chaotic) you can get by with almost any "how." The best class of criminals don’t care about money, the Joker says. The film displays at least two kinds of men who aren’t moved at all by money. I’ve been led to see they’re both very interesting and worthy of a second viewing--despite its excessive length and some boring action scenes. (Is it true that only the woman--the girl friend of both the good guys--isn’t very interesting?)