Warning: Potential Plot Spoiler Alerts
Heath Ledger’s Joker in “The Dark Knight” is still the definitive performance; both in terms of acting and writing. The Joker is acted well. We know, or should know, that Joaquin Phoenix is a good actor. His ability to play tortured characters has never been in doubt. He has tragic life experiences (his elder brother dying from a heroin overdose) to draw from and he does it well.
The script and plotting for “The Joker” are simply awful. Plot twists can be seen a mile away. And by the end, one wonders if the film’s last 30 minutes were even necessary.
Yes, we get it. Social breakdown leads to anarchy and nihilism. But scores of films have done this with much better nuance, depth, intelligence and sensitivity than “The Joker”.
“Dog Day Afternoon” and “Scarface” are far superior and better written in this regard. If one is looking for social commentary in “The Joker”, one came to the wrong place. Even valid issues like mental health and the destruction of social services are poorly treated subjects and essentially serve as caricatured plot devices.
And No one, aside from Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Wes Anderson should be allowed to mess with Classic Rock and Blues. These directors pay homage to Cream, Kinks and the Rolling Stones in the right way. The musical soundtrack makes sense.
Where the *#*!€$!!! does Todd Philips get off by inserting Cream’s epic “White Room” in another poorly scripted scene. Or for that matter, Tarantino’s misuse of Vanilla Fudge’s “You leave me Hanging on” in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”.
Both Joker and Once upon a time are over-hyped and narcissistic films that reflect a deluded sense of sense importance among the Hollywood elite.
“The Irishman” is a much better film to spend your money and time on