Sunday, November 17, 2019

This Is A Joke, Right?

Welp, this happened today. Joker has officially grossed $1 BILLION DOLLARS worldwide. Just as I predicted it would in my review a couple weeks ago.

Once again, I absolutely DO NOT GET IT.

Why do people seem to love this film so much? I thought it was passable at best. Sure, it features a brilliant and fearless performance by star Joaquin Phoenix, but it was all in service of nothing. The story was extreeeeemely predictable, as it was little more than a remake of Taxi Driver and The King Of Comedy melded together. In fact the moment I saw the trailer I "wrote" the movie's plot in my head, and my version was virtually identical to the real thing.

Even more puzzling, it's a superhero movie without any superheroes or comic book elements in it. You could remove all the handful of DC references and it wouldn't change the movie one bit. Heck, you could take out all the clown stuff too, and again, the story would remain virtually unchanged. So why do comic book fans love it so?

More power to Warner Bros. and DCEU fans, I guess. But I remain honestly baffled by this movie's popularity and success.

Back when the movie first premiered, Joaquin Phoenix and director Tim Miller both said that Joker was a one and done movie, and they had no interest in making a follow up.

Or course now that the film's grossed over a billion bucks, they've both recanted that statement, and are of course willing to talk sequel. What a surprise.

Eh, that's fine. I'm sure there are plenty of other Scorcese movies they can copy for Joker 2.


  1. I haven't seen Joker (and don't plan to). But the two films you reference are 43 and 37 years old, respectively. I'm guessing that about 90% of the people seeing this film have never seen those two movies, perhaps have never heard. And if they have, well four decades is plenty of time elapsed to allow for a remake -- Hollywood routinely recycles films over much shorter intervals. (I'm looking at you, Charlie's Angels.) Given the paucity of original films and the prevalence of remakes, reboots and sequels, Joker's familiarity is probably an asset. It's what modern audiences crave, apparently.

  2. Fair point about the age of the films Joker apes. But even if you ignore its unoriginality, it's still an EXTREMELY predictable movie. Downtrodden Man Feels Mistreated By The System, So He Lashes Out By Killing. The End. That's it. That's all there is to it. Many are acting like the film contains some profound message about society, but there's really nothing there. The only thing it has going for it is Joaquin Phoenix's performance, which I admit is stellar. But to me that's not enough to make a good film. I need a decent story to hang a performance on.


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