Andrew Klavan likely isn’t surprised left-of-center film critics can’t see the conservatism in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
After all, the very same group ignores or explains away the violence of Occupy Wall Street, the dying movement mocked in the latest Bat film.
Klavan breaks the film’s bigger themes down all the same at The Wall Street Journal:
The movie is a bold apologia for free-market capitalism; a graphic depiction of the tyranny and violence inherent in every radical leftist movement from the French Revolution to Occupy Wall Street; and a tribute to those who find redemption in the harsh circumstances of their lives rather than allow those circumstances to mire them in resentment….
The world of the film is our world, and the direct opposite of the world imagined into being by our intelligentsia. Here, free markets and investments, while creating super-wealthy men like the philanthropist hero Bruce Wayne, also create a rising tide of money that lifts the rest of us. Meanwhile, the forcible redistribution of private property is identified as theft, the forerunner of disorder and despotism.
But the heart of the film is not money. It’s people and what they choose to make of the injustices of their lives. Catwoman is the linchpin of that theme. She is the link between those like the heroic capitalist Wayne, who allow hardship to temper their souls, and those like Bane, who cling to their hurts and demand to be repaid in societal destruction. Catwoman begins as a thief making revolutionary proclamations: “There’s a storm coming.” She ends up confronting the true nature of that storm and a choice between that and freedom’s better way.