The Dark Knight Trilogy has come to a conclusion and despite a few plot holes here and there, the entire story was, without question, a massive success.
With the release of all three movies now, I just had myself a movie marathon, reliving the beginning, the end, and the glorious middle, The Dark Knight.
This movie is by far one of the greatest movies, let alone superhero movies, in history.
But, of course, you already know that.
This movie, however, speaks to me on another level, when I examine it through the eyes of my road to salvation and the long journey since.
It’s surprising that such a dark set of movies actually brings a lot of light into the world, even in the face of evil.
You see, the Joker’s plan, seemingly from the beginning, is two-fold: kill Batman and prove that humanity is, at its heart, evil.
Of course, this is a simple parallel of Batman and the Joker with Jesus and the Devil. The Devil, of course, desiring both the death of Christ and to rule us humans on Earth. In fact, when we look at the story of Job, we see the Devil and the Joker both use similar logic in their experiments.
The Devil wanted to prove that if Job were to lose all of his blessings, his wealth, his loved ones, his health, etc, that he would curse God and turn from the righteous path.
The Joker set up two ferries. One full of murderers, mobsters, and convicted criminals. The other, full of ordinary, innocent families. Each ferry had explosives on board, and each ferry had the detonator to the other. The Joker set the rules that if one of the ships didn’t blow up before time ran out, he would blow them both up.
Of course, the story of Job ended with him never wavering in his faith, even after having lost it all.
In The Dark Knight, the scene with the ferries is my favorite of the entire trilogy. (Spoiler alert.)
Of course, neither ferries’ inhabitants wanted to die. The ferry of criminals wanted to live out of pure fear. People on the other ferry tried to rationalize that they were innocent, good people and the other boat was full of criminals that had their chance to live.
On the surface, if one had to choose, most would say that the ship of criminals should definitely be the one to blow up.
However, even though some were adamant about pulling the trigger on the ferry of criminals, in the end, no one could do it. Criminals or not, they couldn’t kill them.
But on the other boat, the desire to survive was overwhelming. A guard shakily guarded the detonator to the other boat.
Finally, the biggest, most terrifying looking criminal in the place stepped up to the guard and said, “You don’t want to die, but you don’t know how to take a life. Give it to me; these men would kill you, and take it anyway. Give it to me. You can tell ’em I took it by force. Give it to me, and I’ll do what you shoulda did ten minutes ago.”
The guard hands it over to the inmate, who immediately tosses it out the window and into the water below, and then, takes his seat again.
I know, it’s not the most exciting moment of the trilogy, but it most certainly is my favorite.
Let me tell you why: We tend to write “criminals” off in society.
If you’ve made big enough mistakes in your life to be in and out of jail or to serve hard time in prison, Heaven help you, because humanity rarely will.
But the truth is, ex-criminals are not worthless human beings (there is no such thing) and everyone has the potential to become something better and contribute to society in meaningful ways.
The Bible is full of murderers, drunkards, thieves, liars, adulterers, and prostitutes who were later used by God to do amazing righteous things!
And that’s the same message I got from The Dark Knight. Just because someone may have done something wrong, maybe even evil, at one time in their lives, doesn’t mean they are destined to be villains for the rest of their life. Despite the popular opposing view, people DO change. We all do. Everything we experience changes us, some more than others.
If God sees fit to give us an endless amount of second chances, how can we deny someone else the same opportunity?
Batman Begins had quite a few good messages, and an over arching story about overcoming fear. And The Dark Knight Rises has a “Messianic” tone to it, with a savior who fell, returned, and was willing to sacrifice everything for the people he loved (Gotham).
But The Dark Knight’s message of mercy, grace, and hope in the face of evil is certainly the most powerful message of the three.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that these movies also did a very good job of polarizing good and evil, in showing just how powerful both can be.
This spilled over into the real world at the release of the last two movies. The Dark Knight saw the suicide of the movie’s major star, Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, seemingly brought on by depression suffered during the time he portrayed the villain. The Dark Knight Rises saw a massacre at a movie theater, where a young man opened fire in a crowded theater.
Evil definitely does exist and is a powerful force. But, just as the Bible and comic books have been telling us since the beginning, good will always win in the end. We just need to keep mercy, grace, and hope alive.
These movies all have a handful of curse words and a lot of violence, including some terrorizing images, but there is no way I can’t recommend them. But abide by the PG-13 rating, this stuff isn’t made for kids.