Batman context and critical reception.


  • Vigilantism, Justice and Vengeance:  Batman “is a force for ‘good’ who fights criminals by putting on a mask, attacking them in the dark and dishing out his own vigilante justice, uninhibited by the laws, restrictions and corruption that the local police deal with”.
  • By any means necessary – the tactics of Batman: Batman defeats the villain by becoming the villain, as well as good and evil becoming murky concepts as the film progresses.
  • Inequality in Gotham: People of Gotham are portrayed as “corrupt, chaotic, unequal and unjust” (Douthat, 2012), and how Batman does not fight inequality or any of the other factors that might cause increases in criminality.
  • The Masses: Nolan deliberately put less faith in the masses, presenting them as docile, useless and incapable of achieving anything worthwhile. Meggs (2009) states “the film’s ideological conflict seems to centre around the fundamental worth of humanity, whether it is as truly as corruptible as the Joker thinks it is, or if it has an essential nobility as Bruce Wayne believes”.
  • Order vs Chaos: Reflecting on post-9/11 concerns about terrorism, justice and retribution, as well as finishing with this view from Meggs (2009) – “by not seeking to create a radically new system of government or social structure, he ensures that he will always be needed”.

Key context:

CrashCourse. (2019). Terrorism, War, and Bush 43: Crash Course US History #46. [Online Video]. 30 January 2014. Available from: [Accessed: 9 December 2019].

Turner, P., 2013. Dark Knight Dark Ideas. The Ideology of Nolan’s Batman trilogy,  37-41

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