The Stream: Takes unbelievably long to get moving and then supremely predictable.
The Big Screen: Joaquin delivers an uneven performance but worth watching.
The Final Bill: Joker is an overhyped film that will create some conversations about mental health issues in society.
-S2S: Movie ReviewGenre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rating: R (not too much cursing but a little killing bullying)
Director: Todd Phillips
Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes (no after credit scene)
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Stream to Big Screen. Stream to Big Screen, who? Stream to Big Screen the best site for movie reviews on the internet! Corny? I think not. Welcome back everyone! This week we were able to view the highly anticipated movie, Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix. Joker is a standalone origin film of many people’s favorite DC Comics villain. The movie is set in the worst of times in Gotham where violence is rampant, civil unrest is prevalent, and the rodent population is no joke. This movie follows Phoenix as the main character, Arthur Fleck. Arthur is a young man longing to fit in and aspiring to be a comedian but is dealing with a bevvy of issues, primarily mental illness. The film leads us through Arthur’s path to becoming the titular Joker.
While this movie is titled Joker, the theme/takeaway from this movie is no joke. Ultimately, this movie hits way too close to home for American society presently. The bullied, belittled, forgotten person in society deals with mental illness without an appropriate support system, and he has access to a gun. This storyline has become an all too familiar in mainstream media today. For this reason, Joker is a very good conversation piece. But didn’t we come to see a movie based on a comic book? This isn’t what I wanted! Well, this is important to know. DON’T go into this movie expecting a comic book like story or a connection to the comics, other than the name.
With that said, Warner Bros. couldn’t have found a better or more experienced lead actor than Phoenix. Phoenix definitely has practice acting like a power seeking maniac begging to be remembered. I’m looking at you Commodus! From the beginning to the end, Phoenix takes us through every single range of emotion Arthur experiences. It truly is quite impressive. Phoenix’s acting and the movie provide a great feeling of anxiety, not necessarily suspense, throughout. Unfortunately, the director either held Phoenix back or chose to feature too many early movie boring set up scenes. When Phoenix acts his craziest, the movie is epic but there is just far too little of it to get over the boring parts. In a way, I felt deceived by the intense commercials and trailers. We’ve been waiting for nearly a year to see this movie. Yes, the movie provides a few intense moments but far too few. And, far too little of Zazie Beetz! Honestly, they could’ve interchanged her with any actress to do the same thing. Nevertheless, her presence was still welcomed.
And then when I wasn’t bored, I was predicting exactly what was supposed to be a surprise or twist in the movie. I’m not sure if it was the scene selection or a purposeful directorial decision, but at times the same scenes just didn’t make sense when I was watching them. Eventually, my suspicions were confirmed and I just said ,”duh!”
All of that said, Joker delivers in some aspects (I didn’t even mention the great score in the movie) but ultimately will let you down. Joaquin does a good job as the Joker, but he’s never going to be regarded like a Heath Ledger once the dust settles. Try to check this movie out at a matinee time, if your a big Joker/DC fan. Everyone else, you may be disappointed in a matinee price but for a reasonable price it’s worth it or an early streaming rental.