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The Joker Movie Is Disappointing! I Wanted To Love It, But I Didn’t

joker movie review

Okay, so when the Joker movie came out last year, I was super excited! I’m not a big fan of comics but I heard about the mental health spin on the new movie and was really looking forward to seeing the Joker movie so I could write a review.

I honestly love when mental health is spun into movies. It gives people something to think about. But of course, life happened, and I never got to see it.

So when I saw it was on HBO Max a few days ago I added it to my watchlist. I just finished watching the Joker movie for the first time, and well … here’s my review.

Joker Movie Review

joker movie poster

It Was Okay But I’m Extremely Disappointed

Now, I’m not saying the Joker movie was bad! And I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy watching it, because I did. But I AM saying … this wasn’t at all like I had imagined. And for a movie that was 2 hours long, W T F!

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The new Joker movie is quite disappointing!

And right now, I’m actually glad I didn’t pay for this. I expected this movie to be exciting, intense, and raw!

I expected to see his mental health issues discussed in a manner that would truly make us understand why the Joker became the Joker!

But what I was given … was an undeveloped storyline, that only touched the surface of his troubles. Yes, his life was hard, and yes he had issues, but that’s it? That’s the story? Did I miss something, somewhere?

joker 2020 movie

It feels a little incomplete. I needed them to dig deeper and tell us more.

Why’d his mom adopt him? What really happened with his mom’s boyfriend?

I think I just expected this movie to have a much faster pace, that took us through his life to see how he really ended up the way he did.

And I think had they focused on his childhood more, showing the abuse as a kid, and showing his condition as a child, to then show his life as an adult and how miserable he always felt, before he snapped this would make more sense.

I get that he’s a clown and that’s where his face comes from, and I love how his name became the Joker, but I think the emotional connection to him was cut into bits and pieces.

One moment I felt bad for him and I was in it, the next moment the story fell flat and I didn’t care and I just wanted it to move along.

I wanted to love it, but I just didn’t.

I hated the scene where the boys stole the sign from him and then jumped him.

And not because of the violence, but because it felt so fake. I’m pretty sure those boys could have done damage, but there were a few kicks, that barely looked real, and then that was it.

I wanted to feel the emotions in that scene and I didn’t. I wanted to feel super sorry for him, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t THAT bad!

And maybe that was the intention behind this movie? To make us almost feel bad, but then not care? I don’t know. But I wanted to care!

joker movie

I wanted to be emotionally connected to him and feel his pain, but in a lot of the scenes, there was this disconnect.

I did like the pan out at the end of that scene though. The colors were mesmerizing, and that’s when I really felt the emotions seep in, but they were gone right after.

And then what made me even madder was that the emotions I wanted from that scene with him being jumped, were in the scene where the Joker was upset and kicked the trash bags.

Like WHERE WAS THAT emotion when he was supposed to be getting his ass kicked by a few little kids who thought he was a joke? Ugh!

Even the smoking scenes bothered me. (And not because people who smoke just irritate TF outta me. Lol) But … you’re telling me that this man was just ALLOWED to smoke where ever he pleased? How is that possible?

And not once did ANYONE question him or ask him to put it out?

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Then there was the scene where he just randomly climbed into the fridge and I was just staring at my screen like … okay?

And then the phone rang and that scene was completely over. I expected to see him stumble out the fridge to rush to answer the phone, to PRETEND everything was okay, that his life was okay, and he’d just go back to normal and act like the fridge thing didn’t happen. But nope, they just jumped right out of that scene too.

joaquin phoenix

There were a lot of slow, boring moments, that I truly didn’t expect to be in this movie.

When I was about two thirds into this movie, I thought “maybe it’ll kick in now” and I expected it to REALLY kick in, full speed ahead, but nope. Again, it just scratched the surface of my emotions and then pulled away.

He colored his hair green, and I feel like that wasn’t really developed either. They could have shown him looking for the hair color in the store to change his look.

You know, as a symbol of him snapping? Then as you watch him dance in the store, you can basically see the wheels turning in his head, as he processes the thoughts of his mother’s death, and the men he killed, or whatever.

But none of that happened, he just randomly colored his hair. We don’t even know where he got the damn color from.

Sure wasn’t his mama!

Everything was just so subtle, and I guess I expected this to be more in your face 100% of the time?

Watching the Joker movie felt like I had previously read the book, knew the story, had all these expectations, and then got disappointed when none of those expectations were met.

Which is crazy!

But I wanted to see him as a supervillain!

But, not the terrible villain we all KNOW and hate, the one that we never understood, the guy with mental health issues who people just didn’t understand.

I wanted to get to know him better, maybe it’s the childhood that’s really tripping me up here. Since as we saw in Netflix’s hit series, You, someone’s childhood is what can really make us connect with them and humanize their anger.

joaquin phoenix

I did like a few of the scenes though.

I liked the scenes where the Joker …

  • struggled with the clerk to retrieve the documents about his childhood (I love Brian Tyree Henry)
  • practiced for his appearance on the tv show
  • kicked the garbage bags out of frustration and anger
  • danced on the steps freely, without a care in the world
  • let his “friend” go after killing his ex-co-worker and agreeing to help him open the door (and)
  • got chased by the cops and entered a train full of clowns

I also loved Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker.

I think he played this role extremely well, and his laugh was incredibly perfect for this. Lol

I just think the storyline itself could have been developed a tad bit more. It needed a bigger contrast between sanity and insanity.

And I get that maybe that was the point, to blur the two, so they both were on the same level of emotions to really understand people with mental health issues.

But as a movie, it fell flat one too many times for me to really love this. And I’m not happy about that! But it is what it is.

Click here to watch the Joker on HBO Max.


P.s – Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to hit the share button below so your friends can read this awesome post as well. Comments are always appreciated and responded to. So gon’ and tell me how you REALLY feel! Thanks in advance! Now click around and read something else. Lol There are lots of suggestions below!

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Written by Shaye Wyllie

Shaye is an Entertainment Writer from Brooklyn, NY and a big fan of anything and everything superpowers related (especially if kids/teens are involved), cooking + baking shows (like MasterChef Junior and Cupcake Wars), teen dramas, sitcoms, comedies, and legal dramas. When she's not binging the latest series on Netflix or writing, you can find her spilling her thoughts on the Brown Side of Disney Chat or creating YouTube videos with her daughter for their new family site, Popcorn and Tater Tots.

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