Warner Bros. dropped their teaser trailer for Joker, an upcoming film that is meant to be some sort of origin for the archnemesis of the DC Comics superhero Batman. Directed by Todd Philips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck (as the title character), the film arrives in theaters in the fall.
My honest take on it is that the film does look good. Phoenix is a fantastic actor and no doubt he will blow Jared Leto out of the water. However, I do have a major concern with the film and a minor one.
My main problem with the teaser, it implies that the movie is excusing Fleck decent into becoming the Clown Prince of Crime. From certain snippets, it looks as though social and political events are pushing Fleck to crime. This is a problem for me. The Joker is supposed to commit these insane crimes that have twisted logic and humor. You are fascinated by him but are not supposed to feel empathy or sympathy for him. Instead, you cheer on Batman.
When I raised this concern on social media, my friend Rosemary Dewar pointed out that, “Empathy in an origin story is fine, but in a villain’s story there ought to be an event that even the villain can’t forgive himself, and neither can the audience. Eventually, you have to love hating what the villain hates about himself. You never let him off the hook. Never.” That is a good point. If that is the case, then the movie will produce something worthy.
My other concern is this trend into making heroes the bad guys and villains the heroes. This trend in order to bring “realism” to the movies is nothing more than nihilism. No one is perfect and I get that, but I am somewhat tired of these movies trying to put bad guys “into perspective.” The only perspective I need for the Joker is Batman kicking his butt.
That being said, I do plan on seeing this film and will give you a review when it comes out. I know have no doubt that it will be entertaining.
Check out the teaser below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews for My Hero Academia: Two Heroes and Unplanned. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.