We’ve already amply covered the subject of negative reviews of “The Dark Knight” being attacked by the movie’s fans (or pre-fans, since most of them hadn’t yet seen it when they went ballistic). But it turns out you can write a glowing, extremely positive review and still upset some of the fanboys!
Here is an e-mail I got yesterday from an anonymous person. His or her — oh heck, let’s assume it’s a guy — e-mail address contains “86,” which usually suggests the year of birth, and the word “kelly.” So it’s probably a 22-year-old guy named Kelly. At any rate, this is what he said:
I have an objection to your superficial and colorless description of the Joker as “the devil.” [Actually, I said he’s like the devil.] How very lazy it was for you to make that comparison.
“The devil” is bad. “God” is good. This is the agreed-upon standard. So if the Joker is the devil, then is Batman God? [He would be if he were the opposite of the Joker — which I said specifically in my review that he is not.] Hardly. This movie is not about good versus evil. If it was, “The Dark Knight” would not be so wonderfully layered. This movie is about order verses disorder, justice verses the random. Therefore to express the “evil” of the Joker by comparing him to “the devil” is simply a tired, worn, bland simile.
Similar to the above point, the Joker does not “want people to delight in chaos.” He does not want people to do anything. He has no plan. He has no motive. He is insanity incarnate. The movie makes this point very obvious. You just as obviously missed it.
Finally, your comment that the Joker was more like the Emperor than Darth Vader was jarring and out-of-place. How is the Joker at all like the Emperor? Star Wars? Not the best comparison.
In conclusion, your review was a disappointment. Please go back to Eng Lit and read up on some archetypes. The Joker is an enormously popular, wonderfully complex archetype. You would have done well to have learned that before you watched “The Dark Knight.”
Sincerely yours in criticism,
I didn’t reply to him because I don’t reply to anonymous people. (My parenthetical clarifications above are there because surely one of you who read the review more carefully than he did was going to point them out anyway.) And also because what would be the point? We disagree on some aspects of the “point” that the film makes “very obvious,” but I suspect he would say that this is only because I didn’t watch the film carefully enough. Obviously, someone who knows what he’s talking about will agree with “Batman Fan” in every particular.