I Can Make This Warrant-Signing Pen Disappear!


[Warning: This post contains spoilers about The Dark Knight. Don't read it if you haven't seen it.]

The third act of The Dark Knight takes a morally ambiguous twist with Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) discovers a sonar-based spying node that Batman (Christian Bale) is using to locate The Joker. Fox is horrified at the invasion of privacy; Batman, uncomfortable with what he's done, gives Fox the power to shut it down. Over at the ACLU's blog, Amanda Simon is thrilled at the plot twist. Sort of.

Unfortunately, like the telecoms before him, Mr. Freeman's character reluctantly goes along with the plan saying he'll resign and terminate the program after "this one time." At least he didn't ask for immunity.

But Tylerc217 at the Daily Paul totally rejects the twist, and sees the movie as propaganda.

I clearly remember one scene in The Departed where Alec Baldwin was giving high praises for the Patriot Act. The one line of praise stuck out in my mind, because after watching Thank You for Smoking, it dawned on me that lobbyists try to win over the ideas of the movie at hand. Without actually coming out and saying "buy our product", they instead push an idea and subconciously get the viewer to be in agreement with it.

You know, it didn't strike me like that it all. The sonar actually screws up at points; when it malfunctions, Batman nearly dies. And the way it's presented, there's nothing the technology offers that heat imaging doesn't offer. I'd want the Nolan brothers to explain their thinking before I rule one way or the other, but I'd bet the sonar was an anti-national security state statement.