It all started when Christopher Nolan casted the douchiest actor of all time to replace the tasteful Michael Keaton (Clooney and Kilmer never happened, understand?) in the role of the Caped Crusader – one of the most iconic heroes of the 20th century. I will admit to holding a grudge against Bale ever since he played – far too well for my taste – a racist millionaire who murks Mekhi Phiffer in Shaft (2000). However, my distaste for him is grounded in something more visceral than an on-screen racially motivated murder. The douchiness that drips from Bale’s slicked hair is so astounding that, like Jerry Rice‘s receiving numbers, no one will come close to surpassing it. Just when it looks like Bradley Cooper will ascend to Bale’s echelon, he does something to push the douchiness to even loftier heights.
I confess I know next to nothing on how to make a movie. All my completed scripts now serve as a coke-fueled Hollywood agent’s Cognac coaster or kindling for a producer’s fire. But I do know that if the hero of a film has me wishing I will witness his gruesome murder before the end credits roll, something has gone very wrong. Have a look at the video below. Bruce Wayne‘s smarminess is so far off the charts it can’t be measured with any terrestrial instruments.
That’s the hero of the movie? Are you serious? If anyone were to tune in at that exact moment with no prior knowledge of Batman lore, he’d assume Wayne was fresh off poisoning a preschool’s water supply just because he had a gap in his schedule on a Tuesday. Aside from 30 seconds of sadness after he allows the “love of his life” to die a fiery, lonely death, Wayne is like that for the entire freaking movie.
Okay, so he’s arrogant, insufferable and slimy. That doesn’t automatically make him a horrible person. Let’s take a look at his actions throughout Dark Knight that, to me, cannot be defended.
- Tries to cuckold Harvey Dent by stealing Rachel Dawes from him. You know he’s not doing it because she’s beautiful. In fact, she’s like his sister, pushing this affair from love story to fetish porn. Are you telling me he can’t get someone better than her? He bangs the entire Russian ballet and shows up at Dent’s fundraiser – late I might add – with three empty-headed women in tow No. Bruce is trying to steal Harvey’s homely girlfriend because he’s a dick. Nothing more.
- Commits a terrorist attack in Hong Kong. Look how hard it was to capture Osama bin Laden. The U.S. bombed Afghanistan (and have come up with a myriad of excuses thereafter to remain) because the Afghani government wouldn’t allow a SEAL team to parachute in and jack Osama up. Such trivialities as International Law and the Geneva Conventions don’t stop Bruce though. Wayne invades China, one of America’s biggest trading partners and creditor to the bulk of the U.S. debt to kidnap a banker so that he’ll testify against some mob bosses in an American city. Thanks for kicking off World War III, asshole.
- Lets people die so that he doesn’t have to go jail. So, you’re already responsible for about a dozen deaths because you want to preserve your identity. Fine. I’d do the same. But I’m an asshole not the hero of a comic book movie. I passed an unconscious bum yesterday without making a move to help him because I was being swarmed by aphids. Does the fact I was flexing in the bathroom mirror moments later while the bum was probably being loaded into an ambulance make me a bad person? Yes! But it makes you one too Batman!
- Lets Harvey Dent go to jail in his place. Wow. This dude really hated Dent subconsciously didn’t he?
- Taps Gotham’s cell phones to make his job easier. Think about how enraged you got when you found out just how closely the government could watch you, what you did and what you said. Now imagine it was some rich dude in a bat costume listening to you leave threatening messages on your ex-girlfriend’s voicemail. Not only is it indefensible but the biggest civil liberties violation ever perpetrated by a comic book hero.
Take away all our Pavlovian associations with the Batman character and what we have is a cocky, condescending, rich, cuckolding terrorist prick in a bat suit who listens in on your phone sex conversations with the underaged hostess at Appleby’s. Now who wants some action figures???