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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Douglas on January 6, 2009

The Dark Knight and The Good Book

When I saw The Dark Knight for the first time (yes, I saw it more than once) there was little doubt in my mind that this would turn out to be my favorite movie of 2008. I wasn't wrong. In a year with many mediocre movies, the newest Batman installment stood out as exceptionally well done.

In part I loved this movie because of Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker. When I first heard people saying that Ledger deserved a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of the villain in the new Batman movie, I was skeptical; I doubted that a portrayal of a comic book villain in a comic book movie could really be that good. I was wrong. Ledger's final role was chilling, sinister, funny, psychotic, and edge-of-your-seat creepy. He completely redefined - in a good way - the role that Jack Nicholson played in the original Batman movie.

In part I loved this movie for the interesting ethical dilemmas it presented, and forced people to deal with. Surprisingly, it wasn't just Batman who faced moral quandaries; the citizens of Gotham city had equally difficult decisions to make, and their courage in making the right choice in the midst of terrifying situations made me want to stand up and cheer.

In part I loved this movie because of the action scenes. But let's face it; action scenes are a dime-a-dozen. Every movie has action scenes, and most of the time I find them tedious and boring. What made the action work in The Dark Knight was the fact that the movie makers had given me characters I could love, and characters I could hate, so the outcome of the action actually mattered to me. Contrast that with Transformers - a badly written disaster of a film in which I cared so little about any of the characters that I would have been content if the entire cast had been blown off the face of the earth - at least then the movie would have been done a half-an-hour earlier and I could have taken my nap at home.

But for me there was something beyond the acting, the ethical dilemmas, and the action sequences that made this movie special. The writers of this movie made Batman something more than just a "comic book hero." They elevated him to a plane far beyond that when they chose to make him a Christ-figure. Yes, that's right: the story of The Dark Knight is an extremely well told allegory in which Batman emulates Jesus Christ.

Don't believe me? Think about how the movie ends, and then consider carefully this verse from the book of 2 Corinthians in the New Testament of the Bible: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Really, when it comes right down to it, that was the whole point of the movie: Even the very best of humanity is entirely corruptible, and so we require someone who is incorruptible to take the fall, to become the scapegoat, on our behalf.

Hollywood would do well to give us more heroes like this.

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