Alternative Media (Part 9): The Dark Knight – Hacking the Justice System

The Dark Knight, the second film in The Dark Knight trilogy by Christopher Nolan is probably one of my favorite superhero movies. Of course, the film has indeed gained considerable popularity thanks to the performances of its actors like Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman and, of course, the late Heath Ledger. However, while the actors’ performances were quite magnificent, for me, it has always gone deeper than that. Past all the costumes and nifty gadgets, The Dark Knight has stood out for me in a way I can barely describe in words because of its theme and overall feel.


In case you didn’t know, The Dark Knight is a film about DC Comics superhero Batman. There have been many Batman films before but I think The Dark Knight is probably the most meaningful one, at least, for me anyway. In this film he faces off with The Joker portrayed by none other than the late Heath Ledger. This was perhaps the film that launched Ledger’s popularity to an awesome height and it was lamented that had he lived, the third film of The Dark Knight trilogy would’ve focused on him.

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Now look, this isn’t about Batman. Sure, I like the guy, but I’m more of a Marvel Comics fan than DC. It isn’t about vigilantism and its appeal although I must say that things in the Philippines are grinding down to the point that vigilantism just might become the country’s only hope of progress. Of course, the themes kind of change with Batman Begins being more focused with adventure and mysticism and The Dark Knight Rises being about confronting one’s obsessions and overcoming them. But those will be topics to be discussed for another day. For now, let’s talk about The Dark Knight and why I think its themes are relevant points of discussion in our country’s current situation.

“Burning” The Forest

In Batman and Commissioner Gordon’s desperation to capture the Joker, Batman designs a machine that hacks into every cellphone in Gotham City in order to track the Joker’s whereabouts. Lucius Fox, played by Morgan Freeman, calls out Batman’s plan as both immoral and illegal. I mean, after all, this device openly violates people’s privacy. You wouldn’t want some (possibly insane) black-clad vigilante hacking into your smartphone for his own purposes, would you? However, considering the kind of danger the Joker poses for the people of Gotham, Batman goes through with it, cementing him as a kind of “anti-hero” instead of a full-on “hero” like Superman.

So why is this relevant? Well, I’d like to point out the kind of trouble we’re having with people like De Lima and Ferrer who keep insisting that criminals and terrorists have rights too. A lot of you may hate me after I say this but I still think the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are a terrorist organization that needs to be captured in order for there to be good and proper justice for the Fallen 44. As the Moro Islamic Liberation Front continue to shove the BBL in our faces in order to give them jurisdiction over some areas in Mindanao, I cannot help but wonder why we’re even negotiating with them in the first place.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has time and time again proven that they are well aware of their rights and are willing to take advantage of them in order to hoodwink our government into giving into their demands. What I am essentially saying is that, while it may sound harsh, there may come a time when we may need to disregard their “rights” in order for justice to truly win the day. On another note, while the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are certainly aware of their rights, when was the last time we saw them consider the rights of others like what happened to the SAF 44 or their many other victims.

Choosing Ideals Over A Person

At the end of the film, Batman chooses to be painted as a bad guy in order for the good guys to win.


Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart, is a good-natured lawyer and whom even Batman sees as Gotham’s firs real “hero”. Unfortunately due to tragedies that take place later in the film, Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face (actually a no-brainer for actual Batman fans) a murderous madman seeking revenge for his losses. However, even when he becomes a villain, Batman still sees what the man stood for and is willing to sacrifice his own reputation so that Harvey Dent and his example would continue to be lauded by the citizens of Gotham.


As Benign0 here states, common Pinoys are more about personality than platform or ideas. Again, I would like to mention that the Marcos regime did have plenty of flaws. However, the next administration as well as the people that supported them saw the Marcoses as demons and demonized everything they achieved. This included many of their projects that would otherwise have been quite beneficial to the country as a whole.

Even if Marcos did turn out to be a tyrant, there is no question that not all of his actions were evil or selfish. Some of them were indeed for the people and I think that the demonization was just a way for the current administration to rub it in their faces.

The Real Heroes Will Always Be The Common People

Near the end of the film, one of the most memorable scenes is perhaps the one where people aboard two ferries are given the chance to destroy each other. One ferry is loaded with convicted criminals while the other is full of common civilians and their families. Surprisingly however, the ferry filled with convicts chooses the right thing to do and throws their detonator into the waters below, denying them the chance to destroy the other ferry. The ferry filled with civilians also follow suit, proving that the Joker was wrong all along about his assumption about people.

Take note that either party could’ve played the victim card and destroyed the other. However, at the end of the day, they show that just because you’re a victim doesn’t make doing the wrong thing right. Also, just because someone has done something bad in their lives makes them bad people for the rest of their lives. At that moment, at least for me, the people on both ferries prove that they’re heroes in their own small way just as much as Batman.

I think that the real problem of the Filipino people is their constant search for “heroes” who will save them from their predicament. Few even realize that they themselves can become their own heroes should they choose to be so. Instead of looking to others to solve their their problems for them and playing the victim card, I think it’s time we all looked inside ourselves for the heroes that we can be. Let’s choose what’s right over what seems simple, easy or convenient.


Oh yeah, as a closing remark, Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice is coming for all you DC Comics fans out there.

See you guys at the movies!


10 Replies to “Alternative Media (Part 9): The Dark Knight – Hacking the Justice System”

  1. They have been Hacking on my computer. However, I played with these YellowTard Hackers.

    There are no heroes coming to save us…we are the heroes. The hero is in us…
    Terrorists are there, bent to kill you. Because, you don’t have the same religious/political ideology as them. Giving Rights, to people who want to slit your throat, is the most insane idea, I ever heard.

    Living and surviving in the Philippines, is heroic, itself. Crime rampant; crooked politicians; crooked Police; Terrorists; rebels;high prices; runaway inflation; thieves of all kinds…really… we are all Heroes…because, we are still alive. Some has escaped as OFW…but, those who remained are really heroes…

  2. Personalites matter! Surely you may have known that even before becoming prez, Marcos was already receiving kickbacks and bribes when he was a congressman and in the import board. When he was senate prez, he was allegedly listed in Harry Stonehill’s “blue book”, a 1960s holy grail of sorts where judges and politicians who have accepted bribes from the big-time US capitalist are listed. Marcos also collected huge wealth from the definitely evil golden lily wealth, in cahoots with the US. During Martial Law, in cahoots with the cronies, AKA “oligarchs”, (apparently Cory is lazy to say the longer word) he received a percentage from Aboitiz, Benedicto, Cojuangco, Cuenca, Disini, Enrile, Floirendo, Martel, Ongpin, Ongsiako, Ozaeta, Silverio, Tan, Tanseco, Velasco, Yuchengco, Zalamea; the list goes on. Martial Law is not an excuse to totally abolish the 1935 Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and hence commit some human rights violations. Ironically the 1973 Constitution has that as well, but to no use. Marcos also broke a law regarding capital flight, which is illegal because capital should stay inside the country for the benefit of the economy and the masses, not in Swiss bank accounts or in NY real estate. Being a lawyer, Marcos just created laws with a stroke of a pen, no checking or deliberation by anyone. In fact, we still follow some of these laws. They were so many of them that Cory never bothered amending them. Maybe these laws could have been contributing to some of our problems.

    1. Marcos has been dead for more than 30 years…it is the present Crooks, we are concerned about; lead by Aquino…

      Marcos is no longer relevant in the political landscape…he’s dead….

  3. What makes a hero?

    Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero?

    Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair?

    Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight?

    Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.

  4. What I find funny about this state of affairs is that the Philippines is not unlike Orwell’s book, “Animal Farm”. Which features Animals overthrowing humans and running the farm on their own.

    However, as time goes by, the farm slowly gets worse and worse as rights are routinely taken away, things considered evil are taught to be “normal”, all kinds of atrocities are perpetrated for “the greater good.” (A horse who is hard working and loyal… is sent to the glue factory), former political rivals are demonized extensively via propaganda… until the revolution comes full circle as the farm was just as bad as it was before it was freed and it became apparent that the leaders of this farm were no different than the humans who owned them.

    It’s sad that the Philippines have become the very dystopia that fiction has long warned the world about.

    1. I especially like the part where adjustments on the rules were made to justify the pigs’ exploits on their best resources which reminded me of this from “Tambayan ni Paeng” blog:

      “To improve our employment statistics, pinalitan ang definition ng unemployed nung 2005 para maalis sa unemployed ang mga hindi active na naghahanap ng trabaho. To improve our poverty statistics, ipinako ang poverty threshold nung 2008 sa P10,000 monthly income for a family of five.

      To improve our completion rates sa mga schools,ibababa sa 67% ang passing mula 75%. Ngayon naman, to improve our classroom shortage statistics, babawasan ang oras sa mga subjects sa klase.

      Baka gusto na rin nilang bawasan from 3 complete meals to 2 complete meals a day ang standard para mabawasan ang nagugutom sa Pilipinas.”

      Adjustments made here is to delude people that all the worse is for the better. Adjustments made here is to keep pace with mediocrity.

    2. George Orwell’s , “Animal Farm”, showed the failings of humans, to work for the good of all, for what they intend to do.

      It was a satire for the Soviet Union communism, that turned to Stalinism. A failed revolution, like the Aquino’s “EDSA coup d’ etat…” The people who did the coup d’ etat, became Worse than who they had overthrown…

  5. Heath Ledger, as if that was his real name, liked gettin high a li’l too much.He did not make good choices but his acting as ‘THE JOKER’ was excellent,best acting by any actor in 20 years.

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