If you love fun, action-filled super hero and super villain movies like I do, don't expect anything like that from "The Joker," which opens nationwide on Thursday. The movie is more of an "origins" type flick, showing how the very disturbed Joker character developed. I can understand why some critics and law enforcement are concerned about this film. It portrays Arthur Fleck, an unsuccessful comedian and clown who has a serious mental illness and has been beaten down by the world (figuratively and literally). When fighting his illness becomes too much to bear, he turns his aggression outward. Sounds fun, huh? Uh...nope.
The budding super villain (or IS he?) appears to inspire a whole movement which takes over Gotham. Some fascinating themes here, but critics fear that it may inspire someone who is also mentally disturbed and feeling beaten down to emulate the Joker and strike out violently. Let's hope not.
The point of movies is to entertain us, and based on reviews so far, "The Joker" may or may not do that. With all the hype, this movie may have a hard time living up to expectations, but thanks to the recent media storm, it will definitely not be beaten at the box office. Check out the final trailer below, courtesy of YouTube.
PLUS... Thanks to my friend Ron St. Pierre, from our sister station NewsRadio 920 & 104.7FM, who pointed out that the Arthur Fleck character and the themes of this film are definitely inspired by a 1928 silent film called "The Man Who Laughs." The trailer is below. The resemblance between the characters is uncanny.