Ahead of the curve


Darwin’s Joker
by Gary DeMar

There are no spoilers in this review. I saw The Dark Knight, the new Batman film, this weekend. It’s everything the reviewers have been saying about it and more. Heath Ledger’s performance is certainly worthy of an Academy Award and not because of sentimentality over his premature death. The role was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and he played it perfectly. You will believe he is the Joker. I suspect that Ledger called on some of his below-the-surface struggles, his own demons if you will, to bring the character to life. We all have the potential to play the Joker, but we keep it in check because of the “work of the law” written on our heart (Rom. 2:15).

The movie is disturbing. It’s meant to be. I don’t know the worldview of Christopher Nolan, director, co-writer, and co-producer with an impressive film pedigree, but he got so much right in depicting fallen human nature and the consistency of living out the implications of a worldview without a moral rudder.

Charles Darwin could never have conceived of the Joker character as he is depicted and played in The Dark Knight. Darwinism flowered in the midst of a world impacted imperfectly by a tide of Christian influence. No one was talking about being an “intellectually fulfilled atheist.” No one was claiming that morals are social constructs. The Joker as portrayed by Ledger is the consistent Darwinist. To use his own words, “I’m just ahead of the curve.” There is nothing menacing about the Joker if evolution is true. If you go to see the film, ask yourself this question: “If the assumptions of the four horsemen of atheism are true, what did the Joker do that was wrong?” To be ahead of the curve simply means that he figured out and is willing to live out what he is by nature. Darwin drew the blueprints for the Joker thinking he was making Pygmalion.

One thing did disturb me more than some of scenes. There was quite a bit of giggling and outright laughter by some people in the audience as the Joker did his thing. Apparently some people found the Joker’s antics funny. They couldn’t see where the story line was going. A little after past the halfway mark, the giggling stopped. This movie wasn’t taking the usual warm and fuzzy track like you see in most superhero movies. I suspect the gigglers didn’t realize how philosophically ignorant they were when they entered the theater, but maybe now they know better.

Will any of the reviewers discuss this theme? I doubt it. Should you see The Dark Knight? No doubt; you should, however, it’s not a movie for children and maybe even some adults.

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