"Best comic book movie of the decade"/5 Reviewed by Adi Mursec
Todd Philips is a film director probably more well known for movies like the Hangover but just about everything about the Joker movie breaks all the rules of modern comic book movies. It’s not setup for a trilogy, it’s not tied into several other characters movies meaning you need to see 10 movies to understand what it’s about. It’s a self contained cinematic masterpiece.
The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix who’s brave to take on this project as it was risky and following in the shows of Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson but I think it’s really paid off. The overall performance from start to finish was amazing and something that I think few actors could achieve.
The story answers the question many have asked as it follows the origin of the Joker from birth with a childhood of abuse and bullying which continues into his adulthood. He doesn’t find much help in the world and turns to violence and crime to claw back some control of his life.
One thing I loved was the parallels between him and Bruce Wayne. In the movie it’s hinted that Thomas Wayne is the father of both although it’s not confirmed but left to the audience to guess and interpret the movie. The Joker aka Arthur Fleck grows up abandoned by his father, his mother has serious mental health problems and is abused, while his possible brother Bruce is raised by his father surrounded by wealth and support.
The fact they cover the origin story of the Joker and make it so believable is a real testament to Todd Philips vision for the movie, he had to plea for Warner Brothers to let him make n R rated comic book movie and I’m glad they took the chance on this one. It’s been released the same year as Marvels End Game and manages to take precedence in many ways. I think this is just what the industry needs, films like The Joker could really save cinema, I felt after End Game the modern superhero movie which is 80% CGI just doesn’t excite as it used to. I didn’t see Spider-man Far From Home at the cinema just due to it being in the shadow of End Game. Movies like The Joker stand out on their own and deliver a psychological thriller on this scale isn’t something we’ve seen for a long time.
With all that said there were a few things I’d change about the movie. It had an amazing vision and a lot of thought put into the delivery but I kind of want more, I’d love to see this Joker meet Batman and then Bruce try to figure out who he is and do a DNA test and find out they are brothers. I’d love to have seen more cameos in the movie and with them planning on keeping this stand alone I’m not sure why they didn’t add in a younger Riddler or Penguin.
At some point we’re going to see Robert Pattinsons Batman meet his Joker but and they will need to cast a new actor for the Clown prince of crime. At that point we probably won’t see Joaquin Phoenix back in the role and again the new actor will have even bigger shoes to fill.
I’m at a little bit of a loss with Todd Philips saying they haven’t planned any more movies. With Joaquin Phoenix’s age being in his mid 40s now and playing a 30 year old Joker, it almost makes it too easy for him to still play the mature Joker in the new Batman movies. He’s the age now that he should be when he fights Batman.
Posted by Adi Mursec on October 14, 2019