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Joker Movie Non-Spoiler Review

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There is nothing funny about the new Warner Bros. movie Joker which in my opinion doesn't fit in very well with the DC Comics Universe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movie, it just doesn’t do a good job portraying any version of Batman’s arch-nemesis I’m familiar with. I know this movie was done as a stand-alone, and Joaquin Phoenix (Arthur Fleck) gives a very strong performance as a struggling, depressed, fragile and isolated individual beaten down by life at every turn, which causes him to slowly make the decent into madness. However, I don’t see this person ever becoming the mastermind criminal or madly intelligent nemesis to Batman we all know the clown prince of crime to be.

I don’t know if this was the intent, but it seems like someone wanted to use a comic book world and its characters without any sort of actual comic book elements to see what was left - which apparently is a very dark and somewhat depressing depiction of society. Honestly, I felt like the creators of this movie really don’t have a very optimistic view of people in general because it wasn’t just the Joker who was dark and depressing in this movie. Even Thomas Wayne played by Brett Cullen was depicted in a not-so-positive light, as a rich snob out of touch with the citizens of Gotham and having a bit of a narcissistic complex thinking everyone should be grateful for his efforts to try and save the city from itself.

Besides being dark and depressing, I also have to say the movie drags at times. I understand wanting to take their time in peeling back the layers of the Joker character so we can see what really makes him tick, but the downside is a pretty slow paced movie with little in the way of action to help move things along. I felt like they could have accomplished the same goal in half the time.

Joaquin Phoenix’s performance really was the highlight of the movie. You could tell he really immersed himself in this role and did a good job of creating a sympathetic and relatable character. Of course as he makes the journey into madness, hopefully the relating and sympathizing will come to an end, but truthfully I think that’s why law officials have been so paranoid about this movie and fear it could spur possible acts of violence while in theaters. This sadly is a type of person you could envision seeing in the real world, but again that’s why I don’t think it makes for a good comic book representation.

At the end of the day, don’t expect to come out of the theater after seeing this one with positive or uplifting feelings, but if you’re looking for a realistic case study depicting how a man might become a psychotic killer then this one is worth checking out.

General Movie Grade: B-
As A DC Comics Based Movie Grade: D


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