K. C.’s review published on Letterboxd:
And my thoughts are pretty much solidified.
I’ll start off by saying the hysteria that the media tried to create around this movie is utter horseshit, and it’s disgusting how far they went to try and almost encourage someone to go out and do something crazy because of this film.
With that out of the way, the movie wasn’t quite what I was hoping it to be. I appreciate a comic book movie that tries something new and makes bold choices, and Joker definitely checks both of those boxes. That being said I don’t think this movie is a great Joker origin movie, nor is it a great Taxi Driver/King of Comedy-esque character study. It does have enough shades of both to make a movie that is generally good, but I think the way the that the Joker and the “awkward loner” mash up in this movie just simply doesn’t work at a high level.
Something I bring into it, and maybe this is an unfair bias since I’ve grown up on Heath, is that I always believed the Joker to be at least somewhat socially capable. I don’t think Travis Bickle levels of conversation and comprehension ever allows you to compete with Batman, or get very far in terms of being a “crime lord” in Gotham. Quite simply, this Joker is a bit too dumb for my taste. That’s no knock on Joaquin; in terms of what he was asked to perform, he knocked it out of the park. I just don’t love this version of the character.
Despite the things above I didn’t love, I can’t lie and say there weren’t great moments in the film. This movie probably has the best dark humor moment of the year so far, and there are some shots/musical queues in the last 20 or so minutes that put a Joker-esque smile on my face.
All that said, I wanted this to be a little better.