“Joker”: My Review

I saw “Joker” over the weekend.  I enjoyed it and I would think you might too if you’ve enjoyed movies in the “Batman” series.  I’ve seen all of the “Batman” movies in the theater shortly after their release since the first “Batman” film came out in 1989.  The first film starred Jack Nicholson as the Joker back when these films weren’t so dark.

jack nicholson

“Joker” was good, not great.  “The Dark Knight” is still my favorite installment of the series.  My favorite thing about “Joker” is the aesthetic of the movie.  It seemed to take place in the 70s or 80s and I love 70s and 80s fashions, interior design and cars.  I also love big cities.  I like it when they when they are gritty.  There is something beautiful to me about urban decay.  It gives a town character.  I know it’s weird but I credit this to my life which has mostly been spent in Midwestern, industrial towns.  There is something very familiar and comforting about Gotham City to me.

Joaquin Phoenix did a great job portraying the Joker.  I think he was the perfect person to portray the role.  He made the Joker, sympathetic, awkward, charming, weird, delusional and psychotic.  He tied the facets of the man together well for the role.

We’ve come a long way since the first “Batman” was released thirty years ago.  I’m not saying we’ve gotten better but we’ve definitely come a long way from the starting point.  I remember Jack Nicholson’s Joker being cheeky and comical.  I don’t know if I remember the Joker killing anyone in 1989.

Well, today’s rendition of the Joker has some bloody scenes.  It’s a very dark movie.  You may want to skip seeing the film all together if you are a sensitive person.  This is definitely not a film for children.  I was fourteen in 1989 and if I had a fourteen year old today I would not want them to see “Joker”.

Before “Joker” was released there were complaints that the film shouldn’t be played in areas like Aurora, CO and other cities due to the shooting that happen in America every other month or so.  The naysayers have a point.  That’s all I’ll say for now because I don’t want to spoil the story.  “Joker” is current in many of its underlying themes.

Overall, I would recommend the movie.  Joaquin Phoenix is great and I bet he’ll get another Oscar nomination.  The movie has a beautiful retro look while addressing trending topics.  I always enjoy the grit of Gotham City.  It’s gory in parts though so skip it altogether if you don’t enjoy that sort of thing or be prepared to see extreme violence.

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