Argh. Don't you just fucking hate it when you read something that is so deliberately obtuse that it just makes you want to brain the person who wrote it. This, and articles like it, are the source of my anger.
If you don't want to read it - and to avoid your computer being thrown away in disgust, I suggest you don't - then I'll give you the gist: according to them, The Dark Knight is responsible for inciting knife crime in the yoof of today. This is thanks to a scene where the Joker - 'played with diabolical brilliance by the late Heath Ledger' (their words, not mine) - describes why he prefers killing with a knife. And all this in a 12a (that's PG-13 to our American friends) movie.
For the love of Steve, how did this come about? This is a quite demonstrably evil character - it's so fucking clear, I think even homicidal sociapaths were thinking 'Christ, that guy's a nasty piece of work' - who is so devoid of morals that he deems that devolution to violent chaos is the solution to all problems. This is clearly a work of character who is created to be genuinely frightening, and moreover, morally reprehensible.
The point that I'm rather laboriously trudging towards is that it's not a commentary on the movie, if kids go out and buy knives to emulate the Joker. No, no and the proverbial no. First and foremost - it is up to the parents to let their children into the movie. As far as I'm concerned, 12a is still fucking 12. You can maybe get away with a 10-year-old seeing it, but otherwise, don't bring in anyone under the age of 12! Simple as. I wouldn't let my hypothetical 8-year-old near The Dark Knight, no matter how much it screamed and cried. Cinema staff are also required to tell audience members of 12a movies about any content that may well be unsuitable for the under-12's, and the parents have to make a judgement call. It is in no way Warner Brother's fault, nor the BBFC's, if the parents aren't very good at judging what their kids can handle.
But second, and more importantly, it's the parents fault for not instructing their child on the differences between good and evil...in everything. If a child is unable to distinguish between someone who is genuinely, sadistically evil, and someone who is the best in all of us, then that child has not been brought up appropriately. Parents = fail.
You can't even blame the BBFC. None of the violence in the film is brutal, gory or detailed enough to warrant a 15 certificate - it's just not, there's no way around it - and the fact that the Joker is portrayed as such a nasty bastard means that any of his dialogue is clearly meant to frighten and not encourage, so again, no 15 certificate. They stuck by their guidelines - which aren't, as the Daily Mail suggest, lax; they're more idealistic. Idealistic in the sense that they assume that people know how to raise their kids.
There...that's it. I've ranted. But that's only really a small snippet of my ire. It really pissed me off - because the majority of the world goes about their business, watching movies like The Dark Knight and playing video games like GTAIV without once considering going to town on the demographic of their local chip shop with a Beretta and a combat knife. Well at least, they may consider it once in a while, but then realise the fucking futility of it, because it'd prove the Daily Mail fucking right....and we can't have that, now, can we?