Ironically, Hollywood has found a way to smash box office records which it is not going to like: well-executed action movies with conservative themes. Pity that John Wayne is gone.
Finally Hollywood makes a film that says President George W Bush was right.
But director Christopher Nolan had to disguise it a little, so journalists wouldn’t freak and the film’s more fashionable stars wouldn’t walk.
So he hides Bush in a cape. He even sticks a mask on him, with pointy ears for some reason.
Sure, when the terrified citizens of Gotham City scream for Bush to come save them, Nolan has them shine a great W in the night sky, but he blurs it so it looks more like a bird.
Or a bat, perhaps.
And he has them call their hero not Mr Bush, of course, or even “Mr President”, but . . . Batman.
And what do you know.
Bush may be one of the most despised presidents in American history, but this movie of his struggle is now smashing all box-office records.
Critics weep, audiences swoon – and suddenly the world sees Bush’s agonising dilemma and sympathises with what it had been taught so long to despise.
Well, “taught” isn’t actually the exact word.
As this superb Batman retelling, The Dark Knight, makes clear, its subject is a weakness that runs instinctively through us – to hate a hero who, in saving us, exposes our fears, prods our weaknesses, calls from us more than we want to give, or can.
And how we resent a hero who must shake our world in order to save it, or brings alive that maxim of George Orwell that so implicates us in our preening piety: “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”