So, Joker won a couple of Oscars? Joaquin Phoenix deserved it for his portrayal of DC Comics' iconic Joker. This is a (for lack of a better phrase) dark and gritty 1980's Gotham City. Is the 80's? Is it the 70's? Who really knows. All we know for sure is that it's a shithole and everything is crappy. There's been a lot of talk about how this is a gritty crime drama in the vein of classics Taxi Driver. Sure, superficially it is. It's a solid film with themes of mental illness and income inequality.
The problem I have with this movie is that it's a Joker movie, a comic book movie. Take out the slight DC trappings, and you've got a good crime film. One of the keys for the Joker's comic book popularity is that he has no real origin. I don't need to see that Arthur Fleck is just a loser that rises up to form a movement. I don't need the forcing of the Batman connection. I don't need the reliance on Thomas Wayne. Just make it some other side character from the comics. If you're going to make it a Joker movie, make it without cramming in the whole Wayne subplot. It would have served the story better. Or, y'know, just make this same movie about any other crap clown that goes crazy.
Now, even though it sounds like I'm completely shitting on this movie, I actually enjoyed it. It's not the most "important comic book movie ever." In fact, it's not even the best recent DC film. It is a solid character study into a guy that's just lost it. Joker tried too hard to be taken seriously.
Queue the folks calling me a Marvel Fanboy!
3.5 dead yuppies out of 5
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