Managing Editor for Collider.com, Entertainment Consumer Extraordinaire.
It's abundantly clear on rewatch that this movie has the appearance of depth, but Todd Phillips doesn't actually have the balls to commit to a damn thing.
It's "a little" about mental illness and society and loners and the media and politics and abuse. But it's not *actually* about any of these things because it doesn't have anything substantial to say about them. It peppers them in like window dressing, but because Phoenix's performance is genuinely great and the craft…
Aside from Eichner and Rogen's inspired take on Timon and Pumbaa, this is a facsimile of the 1994 animated film. First act is nearly shot-for-shot, word-for-word. Visually stunning—the animation is terrific!—but emotionally hollow. Photoreal animals can't emote like cartoon characters, thus the emotional scenes lack any weight at all.
I reiterate my thoughts after Aladdin: Literally what is the point of this?