It’s been over a decade since “The Dark Knight” but the clown prince of crime has finally returned to the big screen. “Joker,” by Warner Bros. Pictures, directed by Todds Phillips stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz.
Phillips is best know for his work in “Old School,” “Due Date” and “The Hangover”. Phillips surprisingly has shown that he can director much more serious films though “Joker.”
Phillips has the film set in the early 1980s for a more grounded feel for a more mature audience. “Joker” does an exceptional job at illustrating real world issues and tying them into the characters of the film.
“Joker” is already breaking box office records, crushing last October’s big hit “Venom.” As of the opening weekend the film is estimated to make $93.5 million, with a budget of $55 million. This makes “Joker” the fourth largest domestic opening for a R-rated film.
Phoenix is known to be very selective about the roles he chooses, but this one might be be his best work. He even lost over 50 lbs. just to play the part. Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck a man just trying to get by and survive the city of Gotham while also doing his best to spread joy.
Phoenix brings his own unique version of the comic book villain that fans can add to their debate on who played it better. His screen presence really shows how much time and effort he put into the role both physically and mentally to get it right. DC fans have been divided on the last rendition of the Joker played by Jared Letto but Phoenix’s version might just unite them.
De Niro plays Murray Franklin, a late night talk show host. Watching Phoenix and De Niro interact with each other was a treat in itself. The veteran actor brings a strong on screen presence as one of the best in the business.
Beetz, best known for her role as “Domino” in last year’s “Deadpool 2” shows that she is no stranger to being in comic book inspired movies. She plays Sophie Dumond, an acquaintance of Arthur. With her role in “Joker” Beetz continues to show that she can pull her own when working with experienced actors.
The tone of the film is dark, serious and brings a refreshing taste the popular villain known since the 1940s. The lighting, setting and the score are all on point and very reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s 1976, “Taxi Driver.”
The cinema photography really gives the audience a full immersive experience. This is something that a lot of films nowadays seem to skip out on, but not “Joker.” The film’s pacing has a clear beginning, middle and end as the audiences gets to experience the evolution of a man.
“Joker” is nothing short than a work of art and was made to be enjoyed on the big screen. The only downside to the film is that Warner Bros. does not intend to make a sequel. This film is great watch for anyone who is a fan of the Joker or even for someone new just wanting to drive into the DC universe.