I saw the Joker the other night. I have a good mate that joins me for films that he wouldn’t necessarily choose, though between us, we get to see some good stuff. Don’t get me wrong, there’s crap along the way. Have you seen The Meg? I personally thought it was a glorious mess. It almost sunk to my expectations, though where Jason Statham is concerned, I can’t say they’re ever that high – Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels excluded. For me there’s something going on between Joaquin and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s like each of them have taken on manuscripts to see who can get to the bottom of the barrel of quirkiness the fastest. I’m my opinion, despite Nightcrawler and Velvet Buzzsaw, Joaquin is well out in front. He was awesome back when Russell Crowe strapped on his sandals and picked up his sword in Gladiator. Any binge watcher would tell you that Joffrey Baratheon drew heavily on Joaquin’s performance as a royal brat. -˜I’m Still Here’ and -˜Her’ place him out there for me. He’s fearless which is great.
So it was an easy decision for me to get along to the Joker. I’m a big fan of Batman. That said I’m not sure anyone’s nailed the title role – yet. Christian Bale is halfway there, though the rest of them haven’t even come close. For whatever reason, it’s like the character has always been written without a personality. Heath Ledger undoubtedly laid the foundation for what was to come. Though Joaquin has absolutely torn it in two. Spoiler alert, I love that there’s no over the top action sequences in this film. No real heroics beyond watching an already disgruntled, disturbed andÂ broken man, descending into something representing survival mode to cope with his lot in life. Make no mistake, it’s bleak. There are no hallmarks of the fun factor that Taika’s recently injected into Thor to lighten the load. This heads entirely in the other direction. Director Todd Phillips serves up generous dollops of gloom. All of which I’m happy to swallow. It’s got a slow walking, killer pace with more character development than I’ve seen in anything in a long time. Tons of swagger along with more style than you can shake a walking stick at.
From here it could go anywhere. I’m already excited about the next instalment, assuming we’ll get one. Joaquin gets the royal thumbs up from me. This script has so much character and heart in it. There’s plenty of territory for a sequel to explore. It makes me want to start plotting my next book now. Go and see it.