What’s better than cancelling plans? Uhh, how bout DC cancelling their plans to go forward with a Jared Leto ‘Joker’ solo flick?
Listen, I’m not out here just to spew hate – it’s never been my M.O. on the blog, and I’ve been more positive on the DCEU as a whole than anyone (besides the delusional loyalists they’ve got on Reddit).
I like ‘Man of Steel’ a ton, I think ‘Batman v Superman’ is one of the most unfairly trashed movies of all time, despite it being a bit of a mess…’Wonder Woman’ is pretty beloved all around, so I don’t need to stick up for that one…and ‘Justice League’ was pretty thoroughly enjoyable start to finish. It’s no ‘Avengers’, but hey, that’s an unrealistically high standard to set for it. I haven’t seen ‘Aquaman’ yet, but I hear it’s great.
‘Suicide Squad’ is then the hardest to defend, because while the first two-thirds of that one are passable (albeit not good), it absolutely flies off the rails in the third act, making for one of the worst CGI clusterfucks my eyes have ever graced, leaving an incredibly sour taste over the whole movie.
THAT BEING SAID – I didn’t really have too big of an issue with Jared Leto’s Joker in that flick. I know, I know…I just didn’t! Going in and knowing/accepting he’d NEVER live up to Heath Ledger’s performance in ‘The Dark Knight’ probably helped that, along with the fact that I understood this was going to be a totally new interpretation of the character – a gangster-style Clown Prince of Crime. I hated the ‘Damaged’ tattoo inked across his forehead, as I could never in a billion years imagine The Joker going into a tattoo shop, requesting that, and lying down for a quick sesh, but whatever. Maybe Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn got him to do it. She could certainly get me to do ANYTHING.
(Another aspect of the movie I enjoyed, obviously)
My issue with a Jared Leto ‘Joker’ solo flick is this – The Joker should never have a solo movie.
The Joker isn’t a character that should be fleshed out enough to carry a full movie on his own. Mysteriousness in small doses is what makes him who is he. I know they’re makin’ the one with Joaquin Phoenix, and I’m not stoked about that one either, ESPECIALLY after hearing it’d be some kinda commentary on Trump’s America…no thanks! Originally, I thought they were doing a ‘Killing Joke’ adaptation, which is the ONE Joker story I believe works for the character, and that had me intrigued, but now that I know it’s not that, I’ll throw to Marc Bernardin’s diagnosis of Harley’s Puddin': The Joker is a weather system. He comes in, fucks shit up, and leaves. No more, no less. You don’t know what he’s going to do, or when he’s going to do it, and that’s what’s so awesome about him! I don’t EVER wanna know his “real name”, or how he got to be the way he is. I don’t even want to know how Heath Ledger’s Joker got his scars! Why would I wanna know how Jared Leto’s got his tattoos?
Plus, with the unavoidable Joaquin Phoenix version hitting theaters later this year, muddying the waters enough, we simply don’t need this just thrown on top of the absolute mess that is the DCEU. So kudos to the studio for realizing – possibly for the first time – what its audience doesn’t want.