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Joker Review: DC’s Newest Film Captures A Chaotic Societal Moment

Joker Review: DC’s Newest Film Captures A Chaotic Societal Moment

Warning, spoilers ahead.

When The Dark Knight came out in 2008 it was received as one of the greatest films of the decade. It was a cultural phenomena that reinvented the already tired superhero genre into something new.

Most of you reading this will already know that. What’s important now looking at the film eleven years later is seeing just how much the tone of that film captures the tension of the societal moment of 2008.

July 2008 was a mere seven years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and four months before the election of Barrack Obama to the presidency. It was a brief moment of transition between the post-war-on-terror paranoia that riddled the country and the ascendency of the radical progressive left.

The Dark Knight was a movie fundamentally about the impending escalation of anarchy and chaos. The story is ultimately about how society bends and breaks in order to stop the forces of chaos from winning and whether or not they deserve to win in the first place.

Over a decade later, Todd Phillip’s newest film Joker reflects a much different reality than the world we lived in back in 2008. Joker presents a world without a Batman or competent authorities capable of taking on the radical fringe ripping society apart.

In the time between The Dark Knight and Joker, we’ve seen the rise of a new status quo where radical voices rule the discourse, where rioting and political violence are encouraged and where the loudest voices get the microphone. This has meant that the right has struggled to keep it’s worst elements at bay at times at the same time that the left has run as far to the left as humanly possible while still maintaining victories under the bandwagon of Trump-derangement-syndrome.

Joker is very much an expression of this particular moment. It’s a fairly deterministic work in the sense that it’s about the way that society creates monsters by marginalizing them and ignoring their problems. This isn’t a story about individual achievement overcoming poverty and mental health. It’s the story of bad systems and the people without the means to improve themselves descending into their own personal hells.

In that sense alone the movie skews somewhat liberal. As a whole though the movie has been largely abandoned by the progressive left who fear that it’s representation of “white male rage” will encourage a generation of school shooters and white male terrorists to go on killing sprees.


Rest assured that the movie doesn’t idolize the Joker. If anything, it makes him immensely disturbing and unsettling to watch. The character, real name Arthur Fleck in the movie, is portrayed as a deeply delusional, narcissistic and mentally unstable human being.

He’s mainly empathetic in the sense that we feel bad for him because of the immense amount of unfairness and violence that’s dished out against him. He works a bad job, lives in a bad apartment with an abusive mother and he’s regularly beaten when he goes out onto the streets of Gotham.

The movie presents his descent into becoming the classic character of the Joker as a tragic downfall brought about by the system’s inability to help with his mental issues and people’s unwillingness to show him kindness. By the time we see the character in his classic form he’s become completely terrifying. By this point he’s capable of dishing out immense arbitrary violence.

This is all shown in contrast with the rise of an antifascist/anti-capitalist vigilante political movement and a prominent corporate political figure’s rise happening in the background of the film, which are obvious allusions to Antifa and President Trump. The message is clear, society is breaking down at the seams and our inability to connect to each other with kindness is creating political violence, cult of personality leaders and an insane unstable national mood.

All that said, the movie isn’t great. Like a lot of recent conservatives v. elitist film critics scuffles we’ve seen lately there’s been a huge push to get audiences to support films lambasted by the progressive media. Unfortunately Joker suffers a bit from a somewhat weak script and highly derivative story.

If the movie suffers a central flaw it’s merely that the hodge-podge of influences that the movie draws upon don’t mesh well. Intellectually sorting out how the DC Comics references and Scorsese references are supposed to fit together thematically is exhausting. Regardless, anyone who has seen the movie this is homaging already knows where the plot is going a mile away. Without the excellent lead performance by Joaquin Phoenix and the allusions to Batman there’s not much of a stand alone film.

All things considered though, this is an excellent experiment for Warner Brothers. We need more unique, risky artist driven films coming out of big budget Hollywood and Joker is certainly that. In contrast to its predecessor it’s also an amazing gauge of where society is at the moment.


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Joker is the single greatest example of HOW LITTLE INFLUENCE the media actually has.

Despite them screaming and whining and practically BEGGING somebody to shoot up a theatre, it didn’t happen.

The so-called ‘controversy’ is occurring ONLY in the blue check twitterati.

Literally not a single normie has voiced any particular concern about the movie.

Audiences have rated it overwhelmingly positively, despite critics giving it mediocre to bad reviews.

The media is having a collective meltdown over Joker because they wanted it to fail, and the fact that it is not only NOT failing, but an overwhelming success, is the final wake up call for them that they have no influence left.

The Friendly Grizzly | October 7, 2019 at 8:31 pm

“…a cultural phenomena”?

A cultural phenomenon.

I wonder what Batman thinks about this garbage?

i don’t care: i’m not paying to see this garbage: in a theater or in my home.

Spot on review. Matches pretty close to my take too.

We live in a secure undisclosed rural location, with 750 gallons of propane (soon to double), plenty of food (much grown ourselves), plenty of firearms, and more than plenty of ammo. We can’t survive forever on our own, but we can make it for a year.

And that time frame will be expanding. We’ve been preparing gradually with no disruption to our routine. No tall fences or provocative signs or flags. We blend in, and always will.

The average city dweller has maybe 3 days worth of food at home, same as the local grocery. No means of self-defense, dependent on the local utility for electricity, and the police and fire departments, and no way out when their beneficiaries decide not to be grateful or orderly.

Call me names, but if the collapse comes you will envy us.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to RandomCrank. | October 8, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Then you already know why the Globalists have been trying to force everyone to live in huge metroplex cities.

      I’m well aware of it. They’ve tried all kinds of mechanisms, and they keep trying. Maybe they’ll succeed, but not in our lifetimes anyway.

      We sold out (at the most recent peak, summer 2017) of a big city whose name is a household word, and plowed all the money into acreage and a house built by local country craftsmen who still give a rat’s ass about doing the job right.

      The best of them was just here last week putting the finishing touches on rifle and pistol ranges. One neighbor has two gun safes and an ammo safe; the other side is ex-Special Forces; guy down the hill occasionally shoots a bear and stores the meat in his freezer, and shoots coyotes and nails the tail to his barn as a warning to the others; another guy down the hill saw my range construction and wants to bring his wife over to teach her. New Year’s Eve is fun around here: Gunshots ring in the new year.

      Our property taxes are one-third what they were in the city, on the same value. Garbage collection is on the same schedule, for one-third the price. County sheriff is outspoken second amendment guy. The county is run frugally by Republicans, and does a good job delivering services. They’ve made a few mistakes, but nothing we can’t live with. No sewer or water bills; we’re on septic, and our well water is so good that I’m actually thinking of branding our well water and entering it into the world bottled water competition in Berkeley Springs, WV.

      Biggest problem out here is meth and heroin, followed by a growing cougar issue. It’s not quite Mayberry, but close. I’ll almost feel sorry for the tweaker who thinks our place is ripe for burglary. If it happens, and he comes at me after I point my rifle at him and order him to freeze, I’ll sue his estate for the cost of cleaning the blood and guts off my rug.

      The globalists are now ragging about the wildfires on the forest interface. Let me tell you something about that one. Where we are, there are both public and private forests, the latter being logged. We have logging operations within a couple miles. Their land, their rules, with some state regulations but nothing too onerous.

      This is wildfire country, but the only forest fires in at least the past decade have been on public land. The timber company that owns most of the private forest around here makes sure the underbrush is trimmed. No so in the public forests, which therefore burn much more easily in dry years.

      When we built our place, we had fire safety in mind. No building here is within 100 feet of anything combustable. Part of the firing range construction I just mentioned involved expanding a perimeter around a 125-year-old barn. If anyone tries to clear us out of here, it’ll have to be one hell of an imaginative excuse on their part.

        RandomCrank in reply to RandomCrank. | October 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm

        I get up in the morning, have a look around and think: We won the Powerball, and have been looked after by a guardian angel named Clarence. It’s a wonderful life, I’ll tell ya, and they’ll have one hell of a battle trying to take it away.

I took the movie as a ‘crazy guy’ and a bunch of ‘bullies’ who end up sprayed on the ceiling of a subway car.
There seemed to be a series of ‘bullies’ in this movie .. the kids who steal Arthur Fleck‘s sign an then beat him, the drunk Wall Street types and Murray Franklin. Thomas Wayne and the mental hospital clerk seem the only characters who didn’t overtly stomp on people.

By the way, I don’t give a rat’s ass about movies anymore. They have ceased to be interesting. All I watch is reruns of Law & Order and Rawhide. Laugh, but it’s true.

    MynameisallthatIhave in reply to RandomCrank. | October 8, 2019 at 2:07 am

    I haven’t seen a movie in a theater in well over a decade and don’t plan to anytime soon. I have watched (mostly classics) movies on TV but find most recent movies drain one’s level of intelligence and/or are devoid of any concept of reality

    this would be right up your alley –

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to [email protected]. | October 8, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Don’t forget METV, Retro TV, Moviesnet, Decades TV, Buzzr, COZI TV, Heros and Idols, Grit TV, GET TV, and on and on and on.

      I know more and more people are watching them instead of the Dinosaur MSM because the “retro” and free over the air TV channels keep squeezing in more and more ADS.

it’s about the way that society creates monsters by marginalizing them and ignoring their problems.

“I spoke with Commissioner Gordon before I came in here. He told me he wanted this done by the book. You know what that means? It means that despite all your sick, cruel, vicious little games, he’s as sane as he ever was. So ordinary people don’t crack. Maybe… it’s just you.”

deeply delusional, narcissistic and mentally unstable human beings; this is an accurate description of every ‘protest’ marcher in the so called resistance.
also, who goes to the theater any more. almost all have thin screen, high definition t.v.’s. also, theater sound is routine. the kitchen is handy, the restroom is always available. and, the number one reason to stay home – the pause button.

American Human | October 8, 2019 at 8:04 am

Isn’t Gotham a fictional city? Poor Arthur.

The lack of self-awareness in the CNN tweet is astonishing, but unsurprising. How can they not understand that 24-7 fetishizing over the weapon, the shooter, the manifesto, and the immortal infamy that they give to these shooters, is what encourages copycats?