SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR WARNER BROS.’ NEW FILM JOKER
In order to fully enjoy Todd Phillips’ new movie, Joker, you have to put aside any ideas you might have that it’s a prequel to any sort of Joker anything that you’re aware of. It isn’t.
I’m looking at this movie as a sort of alternate reality project that’s taking the idea of a character that is well-known and exploring a different way of using said character. If you know your DC comics, then you know that’s pretty much what their Elseworlds imprint did for years and to me this is basically an Elseworlds Joker movie.
You might, as you’re out and about on the internet, see people mention the bizarre concept of “Joker’s origin”. Thye might claim that there is one and that this story of a man named Arthur Fleck isn’t it. Those people are wrong – there has never been a definitive Joker origin, though many writers have presented possibilities or suggestions. The most widely adopted origin is probably the one in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke. While that’s a fantastic story and the original presented is compelling and believable, the origin and, indeed, the entire story occupy shaky ground in DC continuity.
But people like it, so they adopt it.
I’m all for as many variations on characters as creators want to provide, as long as there’s a certain amount of clarity as to where they each fall in current canon. In my opinion Warner Bros. and company did the best job they possibly could at emphasizing Joker’s uniqueness and standalone (for the time being, anyway) nature.
I was excited for this movie, mostly because of Joaquin Phoenix. That guy can act. But I was also excited because I felt like it was a bold decision for Warner Bros. to strike out in a new direction with their DC Comics characters. I didn’t necessarily believe they had found a new path to success, but at least they recognized that what they were doing wasn’t working. Something fresh and new might not be great, but at least it would be free of expectations tied to the existing film franchises.
Was what Joker delivered worth diverging from the set course or should WB have stuck to their guns? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 11 Thoughts About Joker”