DURHAM,NC - Fans say it’s one of the best comic book films since the Dark Knight and critics are praising it as Oscar-worthy. For those of you that don’t know what I’m referring to, Todd Philips’ “Joker” was released in theaters this past month and everyone’s raving about it. Naturally, I was very excited to see the film and Joaquin Phoenix’s supposedly legendary performance. Now after seeing the film this past weekend I have to admit, it just wasn’t that funny.
I know it’s disappointing to hear, but this film failed miserably as a comedy. I mean if you’re going to name your film “Joker”, maybe you should have some actual jokes in the script, Todd. What do clowns do? They make us laugh! Looks like somebody needs to go back to elementary school.
Even when the movie attempted to make a joke, it fell flat on its face. The opening scene features a bit where the main character, Arthur, gets beaten up in an alley and is left lying on the ground in tears. While this attempt at a joke had some comedic potential, it went on for far too long and instead of making me laugh just left me feeling empathy for the character and understanding his internal emotional struggle. The films continued attempts at classic slapstick humor were no more successful and only resulted in meaningful statements about our society.
I’ll give the film some credit for having a well told story and empathetic characters, but these aspects ultimately distract from the main focus of the movie, which should be telling silly jokes. Although Joker ended up being a disappointing, we look forward to seeing plenty of guns in “Top Gun: Maverick” and taking a long nap through “Doctor Sleep” later this year.