Review - Joker
As I start this review Joker is currently sitting at number 1 at the box office after only a few days in the theater. While I’m not saying it was a bad movie by any means it just wasn’t as great to me as everyone made it out to be. Perhaps by the time I saw it there was too much hype around it to really give it a fair shake. Nevertheless, here’s my review.
If you strip away everything that is the Joker from the DC universe and come at this as a straight movie it’s an excellent display of emotion, depth, and characterization. Even the cinematography caught my attention which is not something I usually pay attention to. Joaquin Phoenix’s acting was great, I will applaud that. There were some nuances he brought to Joker that did remind me what would become the DC supervillain. The story built in a believable way and had an appealing ending. Good movie.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
It’s been hard for me to verbalize what is bothering me about this film. Like I said, it’s a really good movie but not as a Joker origin story. I hold the character of The Joker really close because he’s been my favorite for a long time. To me he’s always been sadistic just because he wants to be. There really isn’t a backstory that could be told which I would embrace. But what really doesn’t work for me in the Joker movie is that “Arthur” is a beat down, sad sack character that has to evolve into the Joker to feel empowered. Not my Joker. He doesn’t have skeletons like that in his closet. He’s simply just insane because he’s insane. I’ve often written about making great villains have a purpose and I’ve always used The Joker as that rare exception who does what he does because he’s nuts, not for any big meaning.
The story of him being related to Bruce Wayne is really far-fetched and though they explained it away they left seeds to make you wonder. Also, I didn’t like the laugh being some sort of tick either.
It sounds like I’m bagging on the film which I assure you I’m not. As I said it’s a really good film, just not as a Joker origin story.