CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Joker (2019)

It was made very clear before Joker was even released that Todd Phillips’ interpretation of The Clown Prince of Crime was a stand-alone totally unique story that held no ties to anything at all in print or on screen. My initial reaction was why should we care then? There is enough quality film and tv to keep us busy so why bother watching something that doesn’t matter to the bigger picture? But then maybe that is the point – like Arthur Fleck everything should matter; everything should have value – a message Phillip delivers through this movie as he unapologetically holds up a mirror to society that is at war with itself in these divided modern times.

So what was the film like then? Well lets get to the point shall we? Joaquin Phoenix’s role as Arthur Fleck is more than worthy of all the praise it is getting. Personally I would of liked to have seen a little bit more of his life before the film as I feel it would have aided the later juxtaposition but as far as taking and developing a character in front of our eyes, Phoenix delivers. As Arthur’s downtrodden life unfolds before us we find him living with his mother Penny (Frances Conroy), and working as a clown but things are soon to change for Arthur and what starts as a bright Gotham City darkens along with him.

The plot is an interesting one but should we humanise Joker – a character that has murdered, raped, killed and tortured his way across the DC Universe? But then is this the DC Universe? (which actually has three Jokers). Should we be cheering Arthur on? That point I feel will divide the audience as much as Gotham City is in this movie. Phillip’s though raises this question constantly and leaves you questioning it in your own head.

One big waste of time in this movie was Arthur’s relationship with his neighbour Sophie Dumond (Zazie Beetz). Whilst Zazie made the most of what she was given it felt forced in and the later revelations could be seen coming from a hundreds miles away. A wasted opportunity that could of really been exploited to show just how twisted Arthur had become later in the movie. Sure it would have been uncomfortable viewing but it would have shown just how sick Joker is. It seemed though, nobody had the guts to go there. Instead most of Joker’s psycho behaviour we can almost justify. It needed to be a lot darker.

Verdict: 7.5/10 Phillips and Phoenix have combined to produce a stark portrait of what society can do to someone who is stuck on its wrong side. It’s message about the world today is very clear. Fleck’s downfall into depravity is excellently documented but I walked away feeling that I just saw a great movie about a character who just happened to be called Joker. Would it have been a better movie if they just ignore Joker as a character and just had Arthur Fleck’s downfall? Then again did any of it really happen? It is told from Arthur’s perspective after all.

P.S. I hope Bob Monkhouse’s estate get a few quid for the jokes they stole.

Related Posts
Young Rock Ep.1: Working the Gimmick

A TV series focusing on the most electrifying man in Sports Entertainment history was an interesting idea but Young Rock plays it well with numerous time periods playing out across Read more

The X-Files Season 1 Ep. 1: Pilot

It has been twenty-eight years since The X-Files first graced our screens and now with all the episodes hitting Disney+ I figured it might be time to revisit a televison Read more

Space Sweepers (2021)

The initiated will know that Asia have been delivering high quality, and some of the most original storylines and films throughout the history of cinema. Something that the mainstream movie Read more

Solar Opposites Ep. 1: The Matter Transfer Array

Created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, Solar Opposites Ep. 1: The Matter Transfer Array takes place one year after aliens Korvo (voiced by Roiland), Terry (Thomas Middleditch), and their child-replicants Yumyulack Read more

Psycho Ape! (2020)

Directed by Addison Binek, Psycho Ape! is a bombastic blithe bloody bananafest of butchery that initially begins twenty-five years ago when a killer gorilla escapes from the Detroit Zoo and Read more

Preview: Joker/Daffy Duck Special #1

When Daffy Duck pays a call to the Acme corporate headquarters in Gotham City, he finds the company long gone and their abandoned building now occupied by The Joker. With Read more

Preview: Batman Who Laughs Action Figure

Born from the nightmares of the Dark Multiverse, the Batman Who Laughs is a hybrid version of the Batman and The Joker from Earth-22. This twisted version of Batman was Read more

Preview- Superman: The Man of Steel Volume 1

Following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, comic book superstar John Byrne reimagined Superman for a brand-new era--in bold tales collected here in omnibus format! Starting with the six-issue Read more

Preview- Batman: Three Jokers (Hardcover)

After years of anticipation, the epic story is finally here: find out why there are three Jokers, and what that means for the decades-long battle between the Dark Knight and Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014. Some would describe him as a teacher, writer, dream weaver, and visionary... some would not...

%d bloggers like this: