“Joker”: A Movie Review — Spoiler Alert!

From Romero to Jack, to Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker had a record-breaking opening weekend.

Austin Peregud, Senior Staff Writer

The highest-grossing rated R film now belongs to Todd Phillips’s Joker at $788 million, (and counting) beating out Tim Miller’s Deadpool which made $738 million according to CNN. Vanity Fair reported that it reached $93.5 million in its opening weekend and the global gross was $234 million. The film scored a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes along with an 89% audience score, and an 8.8/10 on IMDb.

In this film, we get an early look at the notorious Batman villain in his days before he became the Clown Prince of Crime in Gotham. Joker made his first appearance as Batman’s number-one enemy in the 1940s DC comic books. Since then Joker has had many iconic actors who have portrayed this character. From the very first Joker, Cesar Romero, who appeared on screen in the 1966 Batman TV series with Adam West. Then Jack Nicholson put on the infamous makeup in the 1989 Batman film with Michael Keaton playing Batman. 

Photo Courtesy IMDB.com

Nineteen years later, my personal favorite Heath Ledger played Joker in the 2008 film, The Dark Knight as Christian Bale played the Caped Crusader. The last time we saw Joker in a film was when Jerod Leto played him in the 2016 film, Suicide Squad. The film takes place in the late 70s to early 80s when we see a somewhat young Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) who is going through hard times as an up-and-coming comedian but is stuck in a dead-end job. In order to put food on the table for both him and his ill mother, he works for a clown service company. He goes to different events and helps promote businesses around Gotham, but even he knows that the company he is working for is not helping him financially. 

Grossmont College Student Justin Wiltz was asked about his thoughts of the movie: “I really enjoyed the movie, I thought it was amazing, except for the ending. The ending was kinda hard to interpret why they added it.” When asked if he is excited about the potential second Joker Movie he says he will be waiting in line to buy his tickets. 

Later on, in the movie, Arthur is in a Subway after one of the clown gigs and finds himself getting beat up by three guys who work on Wall Street. Arthur pulls out a gun, that was given to him by another one of his clown friends, and murders the three Wall Street men. After he kills them, he runs down an alley in Gotham into a public restroom. From there the once innocent man who was treated like dirt by society was turning into the master criminal of Gotham. As the movie continues to tell the story of Joker, the turning point for Arthur turning into Joker is when he finds out who his father is. 

At first Arthur’s mother reveals that his father is Thomas Wayne, the father of Bruce aka Batman. When Arthur approached Thomas about this discovery, Mr. Wayne says that what his mother was telling him is a lie. Thomas explains that Arthur’s mother adopted him and abused him as a child. Arthur did not believe him at first, thinking that it was all a lie just so Thomas doesn’t have another child that is related to him.  Until he arrived at the Arkham State Hospital where he stole documents about his mother, he found out the truth. The truth was that Thomas Wayne was correct, Arthur was adopted and abused by his adopted mother– this was the last straw for Arthur. At this point he starts to realize that his life has been a joke, he realizes and he needs to start caring for himself– and only himself.

This movie really exceeded expectations, there were many twists in the movie that many people did not see coming. If you are a fan of DC, Marvel, or comic-book characters in general, this a must-see movie. This movie really explains how Joker became who he is, and why he still is who he is.