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Christopher's 2005 reboot of the Batman franchise that tells the origins of how Bruce Wayne became Batman.

"I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you"

Posts: 105
JimmyFraska wrote:I knew it! Batman goes up to look for a way to stop the train, Ras destroys the necessary controls.


Glad I brought it up actually as I was itching to bring it up but not sure if I would be facepalmed or laughed at or ... at.
This ultimately meant that Ras was ready to die during the mission to bring down Gotham. Right? So Batman can be excused now??
Posts: 1363
Lets not forget that this is all going to bite batman back in the @$$ in TDKR. Bane will certainly punish him for this and the death of Harvey Dent. Batman left Ra's a way to escape by crashing the windows and blowing off the door behind him. Yet, i do agree that batman was refusing to help ra's al ghul because, lets not forget, batman in his first appearances did kill his opponents. I always thought o this as a nod to that time in the comics but hey.
Posts: 179
Lynn wrote:I've been thinking a lot about this part of the film, because I can't really figure it out.
How do you interpret the end of BB?
The whole film revolves around the themes of justice, revenge and compassion. Doesn't Batman's decision contradict his words about compassion being important? I mean, after all, he does leave Ducard to die.
Does he simply turn Ducard's philosophy against him, in a "You made your choice, now face the consequences" kind of way?
What do you think?


First off, I think in a very simple way Bruce is telling Ras to get f***ed. It's his way of simply saying I win.

But delving into why it's a victory is where the weight of this line can be found. Bruce believed that Gotham simply needs to be protected and given a chance to do better, his core belief is that people are good if their world is stable, it's fear and other symptoms of dysfunctional societies, but mainly fear, that drives a city to ruins. This is Bruce's goal, to make Gothamites feel safe, believing they'd then do the right thing.

Ras believes in a no apologies sense of justice, the only way to protect the world is by getting rid of all that's bad. If you've done wrong, you've lost your right to live. He interprets Bruce more idealistic approach as an unwillingness to do what is truly necessary, saying it with condescension.

So when the moment comes that Bruce wins, Ducard still tries to take the psychological victory, asking if Bruce now knows he has to kill. Thus, Bruce's response meant "I don't have to kill that which is evil, evil will often destroy itself by acting against society. I don't have to cross the line, I just have to allow that which is good to act and let you fall". It is a core expression of what Batman believes, I don't have to kill bad people because, if I create a climate where good is allowed to stand up to bad, the bad will destroy itself when it no longer can get what it desires, when their actions fail because everyone has stood up to them"

The key to this is "mind your surroundings". Ra's often means it literally, as his goals are literal. When Bruce overtakes him, he repeats the line, the emphasis being that Bruce's minding his surroundings come in the form of the citizens of Gotham, Bruce has successfully inspired someone to help him, Gordon, the first domino. So, coming back to theatricality and deception, Bruce goes to fight Ra's up top, but the fight is as much a distraction as it is an actual mission, because Batman's new ally was taking Ra's out from under him without Ra's even noticing. So Bruce flips Ra's own line to point out that Bruce has succeeded, the people have helped him stand up to Ra's, and Ra's was too cynical you could say to even prepare for that. It's particularly interesting that the one man who has the balls to help Batman is the one who can help because he got the cure. Batman gives Gordon an object that literally allows him to not feel fear, and then Gordon in turn helps Batman stand up to evil. This is a microcosm of the whole film really thematically. This brings it all together, Batman defeats ra's not with strength but by his effect on someone good, Ra's never saw it coming because he didn't think enough of the people to at all worry about that.

Unfortunately for Bruce, he was right. In TDK his plan works in theory, as the mob crumbles in the face of a system that no longer is afraid to fight back. What Bruce didn't understand is that the mob, the evil of Gotham, would resort to desperation before ceasing to exist.

Enter the Joker, a type of evil Bruce wasn't planning for, a man that doesn't apply to Bruce's theory of the bad dying when they can't get what they want, because the Joker doesn't want anything. It's easy to not kill the mobsters because as they fail they will lose power, but how do you not kill a man that's goal is for you to kill him, and whose crimes are meant only to drive you to that point? It's at the end of TDK, when Batman wins and then saves the Joker with the grapple, that Batman proves to truly be incorruptible, to be an absolute of his philosophy from BB.

It seems almost every quotable line in these films applies to the entire series. It truly is extraordinary how philosophically and thematically tight these films have been.
Posts: 459
Lynn wrote:I've been thinking a lot about this part of the film, because I can't really figure it out.
How do you interpret the end of BB?
The whole film revolves around the themes of justice, revenge and compassion. Doesn't Batman's decision contradict his words about compassion being important? I mean, after all, he does leave Ducard to die.
Does he simply turn Ducard's philosophy against him, in a "You made your choice, now face the consequences" kind of way?
What do you think?

No, Batman didn't "kill" him or break any rule. Why? Because Ra's Al Ghul (Neeson) was on a SUICIDE MISSION. The transport of the microwave emitter became a suicide mission the moment that Ra's stabbed the controls (and it was Ra's who did that, not Batman - you can see Ra's black jacket sleeve jamming the broken sword into the controls several times even after Batman moved out of the way). When Ra's did that, he was fully ready and willing to die in the crash to destroy Gotham and restore balance to the world. Why should it be incumbent of Batman to save someone who was already trying to die?

Also, it's kind of implied that Ra's planned on dying even before Batman got on the train and started fighting him. The way he said "My fate, however, lies with the rest of Gotham" implied that he might plan on dying. Then he gets on the train where two of his men were waiting. He says, "Gentlemen" and has them get off. This further implies his intent to die, since he chooses to pilot the train himself and not have his men stay on needlessly.

Ra's was willing to die. Batman chose not to save him. Bruce's rule was and I quote "I will not become an executioner." He would've broken his rule only had he smashed Ra's skull with that Batarang after pinning him. But he didn't. He got off and left Ra's to his own fate. That is not "executing" him. And let's face it. If Ra's Al Ghul REALLY wanted to live, he could've made it off. His body would have been battered and bruised as heck, but a well timed jump, especially from a trained world-class ninja like him, could have saved his life - humans have survived much worse. But what did he do? Close his eyes and choose to die. He knew he failed, and so he chose to die with the mission.
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