Is Batman Republican?
We went to see Batman Begins yesterday, and it turned out to be a good choice for Father’s Day, since one of its themes is a son living up to his father’s memory.
The movie starts with young Bruce Wayne losing his parents to a murderer (not the Joker) right outside the opera, where a bat-like scene in Faust (no relation to me!) spooked him. Wallowing in self-blame, an older Bruce drops out of Princeton — where I assume he was in the Engineering school because of his interest in materials science and how things work — and joins a Bhutanese crime gang, which promptly lands him in the kind of prison that gives Dick Durbin nightmares. Bruce is saved by Liam Neeson, and becomes the Karate Kid to Liam’s
Jedi training. I could swear I saw Samuel L. Jackson do a cameo as a jedi ninja.
As the plot progresses, a question does arise: Is Batman Republican?
The clues are many:
- Bruce owns a gun, and, as Batman, carries weapons
- Bruce beat Ah Ghul, which Liam consistently pronounces as AlGore.
- The Wayne family carries a tradition of privately financing public projects, such as an extensive elevated city rail system
- Fox likes Batman
- Bruce believes in creating private wealth, and makes his butler Alfred (played by the magnificent Michael Caine) rich
- Like Giuliani, Bruce/Batman’s a law and order guy and wants the mob out of the big city
- Batman won’t be handling criminals with kid gloves. His gloves are armored, and made for fighting.
- Bruce/Batman certainly believes in private initiatives, particularly when it comes to dealing with crime and public corruption.
However, the two most telling clues are:
- After making a lot of money at
HalliburtonWayne Industries, Bruce went to serve his countrycity
- Batman believed the bad guys had WMDs, and fought them
The movie has a lot in its favor, particularly the British actors Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Tom Wilkinson. The Arthurian Quest subtext is nice, as Batman is known as the Dark Knight. Christian Bale does well and looks great within and without the Batman suit. He honors Michael Keanton’s whispering Batman and even looks like him once he dons the suit. The film is enjoyable enough that you consider as homage things that would be called derivate of other films, such as the already-mentioned Karate Kid, Star Wars’ Jedis, Spiderman2’s elevated trains, and James Bond’s gadget man Q, because the story is built nicely around these.
Car enthusiasts will love the Maserati-Hummer-tank Batmobile. As Gary Oldman’s character said, “I want one!” Correction Commenter Tom With A Dream clarifies Gary’s line was “I gotta get me one of those!”
Now, about Katie Holmes’s penchant for men hiding behind
beards masks . . .