Movie Review: JOKER
First and foremost, make no mistake. This is a Horror movie. And if it doesn’t scare the hell out of you, either you are lacking the ability for insight or you just aren’t paying attention. The movie questions what kind of world, what kind of factors, could create a monster like the Joker and then dares to show us such a world. And seeing just how closely that world resembles our own is scary as hell. No, the Joker is no hero; he’s a cautionary tale, a warning.
JOKER is one of the finest movies I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a LOT of movies). It pushes buttons. It made me uncomfortable. And one of the reasons for that discomfort is that it makes you root for the bad guy. Like with the protagonist of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, you WANT to see the villain come into his own. You’re rooting for him. That’s scary.
As for the performance given by Joaquin Phoenix, I’m not sure what to say without sounding hyperbolic. After THE DARK KNIGHT, I never thought we’d see any actor even come close to doing with the character of the Joker what Heath Ledger was able to do. I can’t say that Phoenix exceeds Ledger’s effort, but he equals it. I have never seen a better performance from any actor, ever. If this guy doesn’t win the Oscar it will be a miscarriage of justice.
JOKER isn’t just a movie. It’s an experience. And it’s an important one. Pay attention.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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