After two weeks at number one and slipping into second this past week, Joker has amassed well over $730 million and still climbing. While that may not be Avengers: Endgame level of money making, it’s an impressive feat for DC and Warner Brothers and finally put some excitement back into the Batman universe.
First off, it’s no secret that I’m a huge Batman fan and have been for the majority of my life. I’ve seen every movie on opening weekend, I watch The Dark Knight at least once every other month, and I still watch the Animated Series quite often. I also have collectible statues in a glass case in my office, multiple Batman related tattoos, all types of Bat-Art adorns my walls, and I even have life masks of both Nicholson and Ledger’s Jokers.
Like I said, I’m a fan-boy.
So naturally, I’ve saw Joker on opening weekend
Now, I have to say that when I first heard about this movie, I was super trepidatious. Heath Ledger’s performance was the epitome of Joker, in my mind there was no one that could come close.
But, I knew it was time that someone had to try. Joaquin Phoenix though?
Okay, I loved him in Walk the Line, he pretty much seemed to channel Johnny Cash in that flick, and of course who could forget him in Gladiator?
Then I started seeing the trailers. “Hmm, this looks… interesting,” I thought to myself.
Reviews started coming in. Nailing the top award at the Venice Film Festival and talk of an Oscar started flying around.
Alright, I’m in.
My wife enjoys the superhero movies (luckily for me) and we snuck off on Saturday afternoon to check it out. The theater was packed of course, and you could tell that expectations were high.
We’d all been lead to believe this was going to be a fantastic movie.
However, it isn’t a superhero movie. Not by a long shot.
But still, we weren’t disappointed in the least.
Phoenix nails this part folks.
I’m not going to go into spoilers or try to dissect the social messages sprinkled throughout the film. I’m just going to tell you why it’s such a fantastic movie.
It’s Joaquin backed by the story from Todd Phillips and Scott Silver (and a big nod to Bill Finger, Bob Kane, & Jerry Robinson for the character creation).
We’ve all seen some shitty scripts of late and are all too well aware of what they can do to promising characters/actors/franchise plans. And we’ve all seen some more-than-shitty acting lately as well.
This trinity of professionals, Phoenix, Phillips, and Silver, have created a freakin masterpiece.
In fact, I had to go see it a second time and… I already preordered my digital copy.
Yes, it’s THAT good!
Watching Joaquin’s decent into madness is mesmerizing and, to a point, heart breaking. Arthur “Happy” Fleck has had the deck of fate stacked against him for his entire life, he “hasn’t been happy for a single moment” of his life and we’re watching the final straws that break the proverbial camel’s back.
It’s a work of art.
Phoenix went to great lengths to perfect Fleck’s maniacal laugh, which he reportedly said was the toughest part of playing the character, by listening to videos of patients that suffer from pathological laughter. From some various reports and articles I’ve read lately, people actually afflicted with this disorder say his performance was pretty spot on.
I could go on and on about Joaquin’s acting skills in Joker, it’s truly a sight to behold. There are nods to Ledger’s performance and easter eggs hidden throughout for the true Bat-Fan, but it’s the resurrection of our beloved Joker that steals the show.
When I saw Arthur spread his own blood into that fear-inducing smile, I knew we had our Joker back.
The reason that Joker is going to easily bring home $1,000,000,000 and more, is because it’s not your regular DC superhero movie. It’s SO much more.
My wife absolutely loved it as well, she went with me both times and would gladly see it again. Which we may actually do this week.
The second time we went, was a weekday at like 5:00. Joker had already been out for 2 weeks and we live in a small-ish town, so I figured it wouldn’t be that busy. I was wrong. The theater was about 3/4 full and we weren’t the only ones there for a second viewing. I met three others simply by asking on our way out.
I didn’t even see Endgame twice at the theater. In fact, I think the last one I did see twice was The Dark Knight.
People are still flocking to see Joaquin because he breathes new life into a character that we’ve enjoyed watching for years. Joker’s madness has always been on full display for all to see, but we’ve never really known why until now. Wives, girlfriends, and non-fans are rejoicing because it’s not the typical superhero movie.
People that love Batman and his arch nemesis of course are shelling out the dough to see it more than once, but even the semi-fans and just your basic “film buffs” are scrambling to see it. Many of them more than once from what I can see.
And well, personally, I want to see even more from this Bat universe.
Yes, I know this is promoted as a standalone story with no connection to the upcoming The Batman movie, but I think they’re absolutely NUTS if they don’t use this as a springboard for an alternate universe sort of series.
Imagine a well-developed Riddler origin.
How about The Ventriloquist? Scarface has always been a favorite and is an untapped resource for movies.
Of course, Penguin, Catwoman, Bane, and Scarecrow could all make excellent movies as well, especially with the right team in place. Perhaps Joker cameos or he is actually a part of their new origins.
Then, after several kick ass origin movies, they culminate into The Dark Knight Returns, with Michael Keaton as Batman. Okay, I know I’m dreaming big time here, but you get my point. Bring them all together in one badass movie where they all escape Arkham.
Hell, if done right, they could make an updated Knightfall. Have Bane break them all out and an aging Batman has to round them all up. Again, Keaton could return as Bats, and casting Azrael could be killer. If done right.
DC has been notorious for getting crappy writers and now that they’ve found a winning team in Phillips and Silver, I think they should run with it as far as they can.
Joker’s billion dollar heist is breaking records and Arthur looks like he is going to stick around for a good while and I, for one, am Happy to be along for the ride.