He's a vigilante whose response to an overwhelming terrorist threat is to walk the path of good intentions straight into a moral quagmire. He supports extraordinary rendition, wiretapping and, shall we say, "refined interrogation techniques." He's the Dark Knight, a man Commissioner Gordon calls the hero the citizens deserve, but not the one they need.
But browse the Internet and you'll find papers like the Wall Street Journal, among others, calling him something else as well: an analogy for President Bush.
Setting aside whether having Batman mirror the commander in chief is a good thing, does the Caped Crusader at least tangentially mirror George W. Bush?
"I don't think [director] Chris [Nolan] would agree, and certainly that wasn't the intention," [article id="1553188"]"Dark Knight" star Aaron Eckhart[/article] told MTV News of textual and subtextual themes in [article id="1591210"]this summer's highest-grossing movie[/article].
But while Eckhart insists that "The Dark Knight" is simply "good drama for good movies," he does agree that there are deliberate parallels to current events, even if there aren't any answers on how to deal with them.
"I agree [with the analogy] in a way," Eckhart said. "Of course [it has analogies]. When I read 'The Dark Knight' for the first time, I saw a lot of political issues. You know, obviously today's culture seeped in. It's a mirror of our times.
"[But] if you really break 'The Dark Knight' down, it's vigilantism," he added. "You're talking about a guy who takes the law into his own hands and [uses] extraordinary means to control the crime in the city. I don't think there was any conscious effort by [Nolan] to tackle any contemporary issues or problems" by means of one-to-one metaphors.
Eckhart doesn't think there are deep analogies to be had in "The Dark Knight," but what do you think? Sound off with others about thematic elements in the movie on MTV's Splash Page blog.
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.