The Joker

I was thinking about The Dark Knight, which everyone but me loved, and in particular the Joker. Heath Ledger’s intense, unsettling swan song covered over, it seems to me, some rather poor writing. The Joker has unusual tastes. He possesses secret knowledge and powers. No matter how elaborate are the authorities’ plans to capture him, he’s always one step ahead. He seems to have about half of the citizens of Gotham City working for him. And yet when we meet this mastermind face-to-face, he spews tiresome mumbo jumbo. (“You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever” etc. etc.) The Joker is a dumb person’s idea of a smart person.

The mediocre vampire film 30 Days of Night plays a cruel joke on another blowhard of a villain, the vampire leader Marlow, who must contend with this movie’s version of dumb people. Unfortunately for Marlow, no one in his vampire posse is lucid enough to appreciate his insights. Thus we get lots of exchanges like this:

Marlow: When man meets a force he can’t destroy, he destroys himself.

Other vampires: [groaning]

It is Marlow’s curse to roam the world for eternity, reciting his graduate thesis to unappreciative dolts.

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