Joker

I have a couple of problems with this film.  I really wanted to love it.

The first is that is that it reminded me of so many other films.  That in itself is fine – when you’ve seen hundreds of films that is bound to happen.  The problem is that all of the films that popped into my head while watching this were better than this one.  The obvious one is Taxi Driver.  That film is an all-time great film by a legendary actor.  As Joker went on I thought it reminded me more of The King of Comedy (ironically both starring Robert De Niro).  And finally it seemed that the Joker ended up being an anti-hero like we saw in Cool Hand Luke.  All three of these films featured top-flight actors at the top of their game.  The difference is that the character matched the backdrop and thus felt authentic.

All of this brings me to the second problem.  Just what is the backdrop here?  They told me it was a world gone mad but I really didn’t feel it.  The Joker was said to be a tortured soul but I really didn’t feel that either.  The final scene where he is some kind of new leader of the scorned?  Didn’t feel right.  The movie was trying hard to be a drama but this felt cartoonish.  Look, Phoenix is amazing but if you’ve watched his work in recent years (You Were Never Really Here and the amazing Her come to mind) this isn’t a surprise.  He kills it.  But it felt like they took a comic book character and dropped him in to a random film and this is what you got.   I could watch Johnny Depp be Captain Jack Sparrow in just about anything.  They could have dropped in Captain Jack into this film in place of Joker and it would have felt no less discombobulated.

In a nutshell the parts of this movie were better than the sum.

IHATEBadMovies.com reviews Joker
Poster for the movie "Joker"

Movie title: Joker

Movie description: During the 1980s, a failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City while becoming an infamous psychopathic crime figure.

Date published: 2019-12-31

Director(s): Todd Phillips

Actor(s): Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais, Marc Maron, Sondra James, Murphy Guyer, Douglas Hodge, Dante Pereira-Olson, Brian Tyree Henry, Sharon Washington, Jolie Chan, Mary Kate Malat, Evan Rosado, Adrienne Lovette, Mandela Bellamy, Hannah Gross, Justin Theroux, April Grace, Carl Lundstedt, Michael Benz, Gary Gulman, Sam Morril, Chris Redd, Mandela Bellamy, Greer Barnes, Bryan Callen, Ray Iannicelli, Peter Benson, Mike Troll, Jane Fergus, Jeff McCarthy, Kim Brockington, Michael-Scott Druckenmiller, John Cenatiempo, Danny Schoch, Keith Buterbaugh, James Ciccone, Rich Campbell, Richard Baratta, April Grace

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Drama

My Review

I have a couple of problems with this film.  I really wanted to love it.

The first is that is that it reminded me of so many other films.  That in itself is fine – when you’ve seen hundreds of films that is bound to happen.  The problem is that all of the films that popped into my head while watching this were better than this one.  The obvious one is Taxi Driver.  That film is an all-time great film by a legendary actor.  As Joker went on I thought it reminded me more of The King of Comedy (ironically both starring Robert De Niro).  And finally it seemed that the Joker ended up being an anti-hero like we saw in Cool Hand Luke.  All three of these films featured top-flight actors at the top of their game.  The difference is that the character matched the backdrop and thus felt authentic.

All of this brings me to the second problem.  Just what is the backdrop here?  They told me it was a world gone mad but I really didn’t feel it.  The Joker was said to be a tortured soul but I really didn’t feel that either.  The final scene where he is some kind of new leader of the scorned?  Didn’t feel right.  The movie was trying hard to be a drama but this felt cartoonish.  Look, Phoenix is amazing but if you’ve watched his work in recent years (You Were Never Really Here and the amazing Her come to mind) this isn’t a surprise.  He kills it.  But it felt like they took a comic book character and dropped him in to a random film and this is what you got.   I could watch Johnny Depp be Captain Jack Sparrow in just about anything.  They could have dropped in Captain Jack into this film in place of Joker and it would have felt no less discombobulated.

In a nutshell the parts of this movie were better than the sum.

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