Joker (short review)

Joker premiered at “The 76th Venice Film Festival” in August 31st, two months before the film’s actual release date. It received critical acclaim from critics praising Joker as the best Batman related film since The Dark Knight. Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk The Line, The Master) earned positive reception for his portrayal as The Clown Prince Of Crime.

This review is spoiler-free, to give you a chance to purchase a ticket when the time is right.

Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck/Joker. He did an excellent job for his performance. Other Cast Members such as Robert De Niro, Zazie Beets, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen & Marc Maron all did a fantastic job for their respective performances

Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover Trilogy) co-wrote, co-produced and directed the movie. He did a decent job building a cohesive narrative.

Bradley Cooper co-produced the film to help his pal Todd Phillips. They worked on The Hangover Trilogy. Bradley played Rocket Raccoon from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Martin Scorsese served as an executive producer uncredited, he was busy working on The Irishman.

The film is set in 1981. The year Raider Of The Lost Ark came out. Plus, Natalie Portman was born. The time period recreates a post-Watergate atmosphere.

Death Scenes are very harsh. Don’t take your kids to see the movie, because they’ll be disappointed and emotionally scarred for life. Remember, this ain’t Shazam for parents to take their kids, this a a hard R picture refusing to say “sorry.”

Character Development involving Arthur. As the film progresses, he becomes mentally deranged, due to society bulling him and making fun of his laughing condition.

Like Tim Burton’s Batman, Joker has a real name. Jack Nicholson’s version was named, Jack Napier while Joaquin’s iteration of his character is named, Arthur Fleck. I didn’t mind the change, because this takes place outside the DC Extended Universe.

Unlike several superhero movies, this origin story is influenced by the works of Martin Scorsese including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Kung Of Comedy. Other 70’s films like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Serpico are additional influences.

Besides character driven movies from The 70’s to early 80’s, Joker’s origin story borrows story elements taken from Batman: The Killing Joke. A one shot storyline about Joker’s past as an unnamed failed stand-up comedian, who turns to a life of crime in order to support his pregnant wife, until an accident transformed the first time crook, into Gotham’s most dangerous criminal. The film also borrows elements from The Dark Knight Returns.

Without giving too much away, according to Joaquin Phoenix, Joker’s complex psychosis is up to the viewer to interpret what’s real or fake. A nod to the comics. Joker prefers his past to be told in multiple choice, because he’s an unreliable narrator. Watching Joker for the second time is worth a rewatch.

The Tone is darker than The Dark Knight Trilogy. Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film lacks lighthearted elements & positive attitude. The best way to describe Joker’s tone is a cross between Black Swan and Taxi Driver.

If you’re expecting over-the-top action sequences, an appearance from Batman, Superman and gorgeous C.G.I. This ain’t gonna be your typical fun popcorn flick. It’s actually a throwback to 70’s crime thrillers. If you’re a huge Batman fan, you’ll be very disappointed. Consider this a warning folks.

The Ending. Holy guacamole! Can’t say anything as this non-spoiler review is classified. I refused to spill the beans. You’re gonna have to see for yourself. Worth a payoff.

I’m gonna be brutally honest, I couldn’t spot nothing wrong with this origin movie. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a movie as flawless as possible.

All I can say is, Joker is arguably an instant classic. A movie of the year contender. Joaquin Phoenix was terrific as The Clown Prince Of Crime he managed to knock it out of the park. It’s his best performance since The Master.If you’re eager to see Joker, it is definitely worth your spare time.

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