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Joker: Movie Review

Joker: Movie Review
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Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry is an aspiring actor and has a strong passion for film. He was born in Brampton Ontario and has recently moved to Oakville. He is a graduate of Acting for Film & Television from Niagara college.

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This film has been highly anticipated by many, aside from endgame. It is probably the biggest comic book movie of the year. However, Joker is not a comic book movie. It is an attempt at the most realistic depiction of a comic book character ever. Sadly, due to some strange choices it isn’t quite the masterpiece everyone wants it to be.

A solo movie starring Batman’s most influential rival seems like a bad idea. The whole point of the joker is that he is the opposite of Batman in every way, so having a film that has zero caped crusader definitely feels weird. The film tries though to justify its existence with incredible acting, interesting world building and storytelling, but yet, it falls short due to weird direction and confusing structure.

Taking place in 1981, Arthur Fleck is Clown-for-hire in the dark, seedy, and increasingly dangerous streets of Gotham City. Tensions come to a boil as Arthur is beaten down and manipulated by those around him. The movie follows him as he bends and twists his mind to fit the chaotic state of the city and become the iconic villain that we all know him as.

Photo: Warner Brothers

Starting things off, the acting is incredible. Joaquin Phoenix does an immensely stand up job as the titular character. Though it’s such a shame that his character is just too weird to really be likeable or relatable. It’s hard to care for what happens to him on anything other than a base level as Arthur isn’t really a caring person himself.

Arthur’s Life is most definitely, NOT a comedy

Special note should go to Robert De Niro for his role as Murray Franklin, Gotham City’s late-night talk show host. What little screen time he has he plays with dramatic weight and is one of the most interesting characters in the film.

The plot is the most divisive part of the film. Either you are going to be on board the whole time or bored the whole time. Not a lot of “stuff” happens in the movie as it is mostly a character piece and follows the emotional journey of Arthur. Couple that with the heavy-handed depictions of Mental Illness and this film feels like it’s trying to hard to be deeper than it is.

That being said, if you are willing to sit through its two-hour runtime and are intrigued by its slow burn style of pacing, then what is there is at least a decent story and not too hard to follow or understand.

Fair warning, this movie is 14A and it definitely wears that rating on its sleeve. Cursing throughout and plenty of blood (but no gore) assures that this is no children’s comic book movie. Families wanting to take they’re kids out to the movies should look elsewhere as they will not enjoy nor understand what the movie is about. There is no Batman to be found anywhere.

Fans of DC’s movies will enjoy this film. But that’s about it. It’s not really about anything other than the Joker so if you aren’t a fan of him, you will not change your mind with this movie.

Joker misses the punchline a few too many times but still can deliver a solid performance.



7 out of 10

2 hrs and 2 mins. Drama Crime Thriller.

Directed by Todd Phillips

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy.

Now playing at Film.ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill, and Cineplex Oakville & VIP. Also in IMAX.




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