This is how it happened, this is how the Joker was born.
This movie, was everything I wanted it to be. I was not expecting groundbreaking cinema, but I was expecting a mature, dark, unapologetic, essentially a character study into the best comic book villain ever created. And the movie delivered it with flying colors, I was not even slightly disappointed, I'm just so happy. Most people would severely argue against an origin story for the Joker, saying it would take all the menace and intrigue out of the character but this film proves otherwise as we see Arthur Fleck live his life in Gotham while dealing with mental illness and trying to make something of himself. I am trying desperately not to talk about every scene because you should see the movie, though I'm pretty sure if you haven't seen it today you're no doubt going to see it over the weekend. So I will not divulge too much information, I just want to say this much. This movie takes single strands from The Killing Joke, not a lot, but there is stuff there and not only makes it a good if not great movie but builds upon it more. The story and characters could not have been pulled off better, Joaquin Phoenix's performance is so good I wouldn't be surprised if he snagged several awards. This film shows everything in a brutally and unapologetic way, to where you feel uncomfortable, you feel uneasy, maybe even scared, and that's exactly what you should do! You would not like being in the company of an individual like the Joker, and the movie isn't afraid of going all in. It's actually a DC movie that fully warrants the R rating, but it doesn't throw in an F-word here or some blood there just for the rating, it's all there for a purpose. To show a seedy and more adult movie about a comic book character, I mean Gotham has never looked worst, it's like if the Gotham television series and Taxi Driver combined, and it feels genuine and real. Everybody says The Dark Knight trilogy was more realistic and grounded, but guys even I can see the idea of a guy dressing up as a bat to fight criminals is still pretty hokey even with some swanky hi-tech toys, but this though could feel like it could happen tomorrow. All it takes is one bad day, and we all have had bad days. Bottom line, I loved this movie, like love it to the point I need to see it again and again before it even hits video! It gave me everything I wanted and then some, and I'm just gonna say it. Joaquin Phoenix is the true successor to Heath Ledger, and I don't actually have problems with Jared Leto cause there's been countless iterations of this character so I can roll with it being different, but I may need more time to sit on this but Joaquin took what Heath had and did more with it. Am I slamming Heath? Of course not. But really look at this big picture, 1989 hit and Jack Nicholson made the Joker more popular than ever, best Joker ever. For almost 20 damn years he held that, then Heath Ledger hit the scene and was a big contributing factor for why The Dark Knight is the best comic book movie ever made as well as one of the best films ever made and people lost their fudge over Heath Ledger. He took it to the next level. Those are huge shoes to fill but I think Joaquin pulled it off and gave us not only a Heath Ledger level of performance but went even further. You'd be okay if this was how the Joker was actually made even though the timeline is completely screwed cause he's like late 30s to earlt 40s and Bruce is like...8, but you don't even care. They played their cards right and it came in aces. I really hope this can lead to more standalone comic movies, they don't even have to be for a mature audience, just tell a great story with recognizable characters. I hope this movie garners more critical love as well as a huge fan following, and I'll be keeping my eyes open for finely dressed clowns this Halloween. Joker gets a 9/10.