demi adejuyigbe’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think this movie is pretty bad. I think it’s shallow and dumb and poorly written/directed and masquerading as a film with meaning in a way that has somehow tricked Academy members into believing it’s a prestigious piece of work and not a ridiculous feature-length 30 Rock cutaway parody buoyed entirely by some nice cinematography and a reliably-terrific performance from an actor who is always as good as he is here, and even often better in similar films (You Were Never Really Here.)
That said, this is all just my opinion! It’s not right, it’s not wrong. What is wrong- and very weird and embarrassing– is the strong inability for this movie’s biggest champions to accept that some people think this movie is pretty bad without getting defensive or arguing in favor of a conspiracy, or pretending that disliking Joker is a choice made just because Joker is popular, and not because Joker is a bad movie. Every single time, without fail, I’ve been able to personally trace just how embarrassing and bad I would find a movie by measuring the reactions of the people who love it (cough cough really any DC film) and sorry to all of you who do, but good lord the people online who have taken this film into a core part of their personality are troublesome! What a weird thing! Especially given how many of you believe that the message of this film is “be nice to people or they might snap and hurt you.” (Which is a whole other bag of worms that makes me terrified for every single person you come into contact with and firmly makes me believe you should be put on some sort of watch list!)
Does this mean everybody who likes Joker is bad? Of course not! That’s a ridiculous statement, and the people who I’m actually talking about won’t even make it this far into the review anyway to read this caveat. Movies are wonderful and the best thing that could have resulted from the countless hours of loving work that went into this film, or any film, is for you to love it. What a powerful thing! I wish we ALL loved Joker! But the irony is not lost on me as to how many people find themselves deeply relating to this absolutely, irredeemably horrid man simply because they threw “he’s mentally ill” and “he’s been bullied” into his character, only to then turn around and show their whole asses online.
This isn’t really a review of Joker, though. It’s more a review of Joker’s audience. That’s because I already wrote a review of Joker, and a bunch of clowns (natch) came out in droves to shout me down about not liking it, as if they weren’t a block button away from being thrown into the phantom zone (DC ref! I’m one of you! Except, not!) Anyway, let me get back to reviewing the 2019 film Joker.
I think the movie is pretty bad.