I saw the movie for the second time on Friday – two weeks after the first experience in Manhattan. I feel that I would need a DVD version to watch over and over to get all the hero-related themes, but I’m going to try anyway. Here is part 1.
“What’s the difference between you and me?”
One of the impersonators at the beginning of the movie said something like this to Batman. Batman gave a trite response, but the truth is much more important. Let’s look at some requirements of heroism to find out. These comments are based on the assumption that the Impersonators are fighting crime – not simply part of the criminal element.
Heroes Take Conscious Action
We saw Batman make the conscious choice to become Gotham’s protector. He didn’t accidentally fall into the job. The Impersonators also made a conscious choice to make a change.
Heroes Make Sacrifices
Bruce Wayne has sacrificed his normal, apparently easy life. He sacrificed a relationship with Rachel Dawes. He sacrificed a lot of money to fund the Batman. The Impersonators would seem to have sacrificed too. They also sacrificed their normal lives. They sacrificed their relative safety.
Heroes Are Selfless
Bruce Wayne does what he does for the people of Gotham City. So do the Impersonators. They’ve been inspired by Batman.
Heroes Do Are Good
The Impersonators are doing good by fighting crime. As does Batman. However, Batman shows by his actions and words that not only does he do good, he is good. For example, he won’t kill, while the Impersonators freely use guns. Ultimately this is what makes a hero.
Heroes are good people. They have a code, or a set of rules, or simply understand goodness. They are good people.