‘Joker’ A Sad Attempt to Capitalize on the Comic Book Film Genre

It truly is a curious thing seeing all these fans praise a “comic book” movie that goes out of its way to make a mockery of the genre. Joker isn’t anything special, it isn’t smart, it isn’t deep, and most of all it isn’t a good interpretation of the iconic comic book villain. So why so much praise?

The answer is simple, it’s the “COOL” thing to do.

I will keep my review short as this film doesn’t warrant much more.

(There are a few minor Spoiler here that don’t hurt the movie at all)

Todd Phillips tried his best to blend a Scorsese and a Nolan film together and failed miserably. It was like watching a movie from a self-proclaimed Director who just came out of community college and has only ever seen Inception and Taxi driver.

So many people want to try and talk about how deep this movie is but in actuality this movie lacks depth of any kind. We get it, Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is mentally unstable who has had enough of all the shitty ways people treat each other in Gotham and wants to hurt those who are mean.

Wow, deep man.

Hold up!…. Did they just make Joker an Anti-hero? GTFOH!

Honestly, this movie is a complete slap in the face of any comic book fan.

The attempt to create a heartbreaking and disturbing background on a lunatic, making everyone feel bad for him, thus turning this truly evil guy into a hero was a horrible idea.

Sadly, the only rebuttal argument I hear is that people think the movie is told through the eyes of Arthur Fleck and his interpretation of the events around him. They get this idea due to him speaking to a therapist at the end of the film. Unfortunately, none of that fits with how poorly the film was made. Sure, Todd Phillips could have been going for that, but there are too many instances throughout that don’t line up for it to work.

Then there is the music, which at times felt like a fifth grade student mixing it together. It’s so bad there is a moment near the end where we hear Gary Glitter’s song ‘Rock and Roll part 2’ and it totally takes you out of the moment. I get what they were trying to do there but like the rest of the movie it falls flat.

Robert De Niro as the talk show host Murray Franklin was another horrible decision. De Niro no longer has the acting chops to make us believe him to be a Talk Show host let alone the most respected one around.

If there is any sort of silver lining in this movie it would be Phoenix’s performance. But he might as well have played Joe Smith. A mentally unstable performance clown who had a rough couple weeks and kills a few people. The use of the Joker moniker, and for that matter Gotham as a backdrop, just really seems like a ploy to get people in the theater.

I will leave you with this. The character Joker has a mysterious backstory and this movie has proven why that has always been a good thing. While the film does create a discussion for the mentally ill. It does little to actually be entertaining or stand out as a comic book movie.


To read an alternate take on this movie, check out Sara Kay’s review “Joker: A Study in True Villainy

7 thoughts on “‘Joker’ A Sad Attempt to Capitalize on the Comic Book Film Genre

  • October 7, 2019 at 4:16 pm
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    I’m not sure we watched the same movie. This movie doesn’t REALLY give you an origin of Joker, it more gives you a heavily influenced interpretation of what might have happened. So much of this movie took place in Arthur’s head, at times it’s difficult to tell what blended into reality.

    I don’t think any part of this is “people were mean to him” so he killed them. At the start of the film he’s already broken, holding on by a thread. Society has failed him, therapy is deserting him, his mother is a loon that lies to him and abused him. I don’t think the people being mean to him had anything to do with his turn. Even the kids who beat him up his response was “well, they are just kids” and moves on.

    I don’t think he is painted as an anti-hero, but he is in a time where there was a lot of unrest in the city against the rich and this shit really did happen. There was a dude in NYC who killed some people on the subway, was held up as a hero vigilante, and people rallied behind him. People rallied behind Ted Bundy, people are influence by crazy for real.

    However he doesn’t do it for the attention, everything that happens to him is happenstance. I’m convinced the scene at the end with him on the car is in his head. That never happened. That whole scene of him leaving after the murder of Murray is a mix of reality and crazy.

    I also disagree with it being a cash grab for the Joker name, because as you said they could have called him John Smith or whatever, but you CANT make this movie without it being Joker. I mean you could, but then people would just be like “well why don’t they just call him Joker?”

    I get your frustrations with the film, but I don’t agree that it’s just a film to slap the Joker name on and make money.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2019 at 7:03 pm
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    I can’t agree more. It would have been a better movie if they would have removed any DC Universe reference.
    That being said, Phoenix’s performance was good, will probably get an Oscar nod because he starved himself and they seem to like that.

    Reply
    • October 8, 2019 at 9:57 am
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      Is that all it takes? Starving yourself? I should get in a movie and do that. 1) I’d lose weight 2) OSCAR!

      Reply
    • October 9, 2019 at 7:28 am
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      This is one of the Intellectually dishonest and disingenuous reviews I’ve ever read. It’s the cool thing to heap praise…you must be joking. It seems like the cool thing to do is shit on this movie. You’re criticism about this movie is vague at best. Stick with Jay Roach watching Avengers in nana’s basement crying: I loVE YOu ThReE ThOUsaNd.

      Reply
      • October 9, 2019 at 8:40 am
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        I think it is funny how anyone who criticizes a DC film is automatically a Marvel fanboy. I have defended the DC films pretty heavily for the last 5 years and will continue to do so when warranted. In my opinion Joker is not worthy of being a DC film. It’s a slap in the face to those of us who consider to be comic book fans. I wont go so far as to say they ruined the Joker because there really isn’t any possible way to ruin that character. I will say they simplified and made a mockery of the character for financial gain.

        If you enjoyed the film, more power to you. But from my standpoint it was a shallow film that did nothing new or inventive and just decided to slap on the DC brand and the Joker moniker to add a little more $$$ to their pocket books.

        the film will get award consideration, but only for Phoenix’s portrayal, not of Joker, but of a mentally unstable human being.

        Reply
        • October 9, 2019 at 8:57 am
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          Shut up Marvel Fan boy. 🙂

          Really though, I told Kaylie (my wife) about your take on Joker and she visually got upset. Started cursing at me like “what the fuck is wrong with him”.

          Reply
      • October 9, 2019 at 8:53 am
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        I just want to say ending your comment with “Stick with Jay Roach watching Avengers in nana’s basement crying: I loVE YOu ThReE ThOUsaNd.” has brought me so much joy, thank you.

        Also, I enjoy this movie and Robert is wrong. That is all.

        Reply

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