In a way Joker was bound to be ripped by Honest Trailers and possibly even CinemaSins, but there’s still that pesky reality check that reminds us how loved it was by so many people since it depicted an iconic villain in such a different light. There was plenty of dissension between those that wanted to see the movie and those that figured that it wasn’t quite as necessary, but obviously the former won out since Joker took over in 2019 and has been a standout hit since it arrived. Even before it hit the theaters people were buzzing about the movie in an effort to show just how this new version was far more accurate for the times and was, in the view of some people, possibly the best Joker ever. David Sims of The Atlantic has something else to say about the character. That’s still highly debatable since those that have enjoyed the clown prince of crime since his arrival decades ago and every version since might have something to say about that. Like many characters the Joker has undergone one change after another as the years have rolled by and society has changed again and again. His origin has been ripped up and redone several times and now and again it’s been left incomplete on purpose to give people the idea that he’s far more mysterious than they realized.
This Joker however poses a very interesting question of whether or not he’s really related to the Wayne family, even if there’s documentation and plenty of doubt concerning the matter. In any case there was some tenuous link to the Wayne’s and if a Joker 2 does emerge there’s a big possibility that said connection might actually be kept around to see how it develops. After all the Joker and Batman have been linked for so many years that trying to separate them for any extended length of time just feels odd and tends to make people wonder if we’ll be seeing them on the same screen again. At the current moment the Joker we’ve received from Joaquin Phoenix couldn’t possibly take on the dark knight given that despite his obvious mental issues and ability to stir up a crowd, he still didn’t come off as a criminal mastermind or even someone that would quiet and control the mob as the Joker has done in the past. Of course with a sequel things could skip a ways ahead and show that Arthur Fleck has accepted his madness and made it work for him, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment. What is evident is now that the hype for the movie has died down a bit it’s become time to pick at it and pull at the seams in order to remind people that the initial fervor is indeed over and those that were trying to have their say during the maddened rush to praise the movie are now going to reveal just what didn’t work and why a movie about a mental health patient that has been brought in to portray one of the most beloved villains of all time was indicative of the times but in the same breath was hyped up to such a degree that seeing past the smoke and mirrors wasn’t a viable option for many people. Tom Nicholson of Esquire has a bit more to say on this subject.
In other words, Arthur Fleck is less of a Joker than he was a very damaged individual that utilized the fervor that had been created by a city that had already reached a boiling point and was ready to tip with just a gentle push in the right direction. We’ve been given a lot of different views of Gotham over the years but this time the city reflected what many people would likely state is the condition of the US right now, without the mounds of garbage piling up on the streets. It’s a very dire situation that Fleck was placed into and one that is far more fatalistic than we’re currently living in no matter what people want to say since in the movie Gotham was already being pushed toward the divide between the rich and the poor without any chance of being remedied with a compromise that might work for everyone. This of course was necessary to introduce someone like Fleck that could step into the madness and eventually realize that the eye of the storm was where he needed to be in order to finally get noticed and possibly do and say what he wanted to get his point across. It still came off as a hurried and kind of frenzied message given how he finally came out to the people, but it was obviously effective as the disenfranchised mob eventually looked to him as the answer to their problems, in a sense.
Some might want to say that Joker is the wake-up call that people needed, others might want to state that it’s just another movie that a lot of folks have hyped up too much. In truth, it is just another movie with a message that a lot of people might forget within the next decade, even if there is a sequel. Gabrielle Bruney of Esquire might agree with that point.