MovieChat Forums > Joker (2019) Discussion > Was a bit underwhelmed.

Was a bit underwhelmed.

I wanted this to be an epic thing, away from the lore of the usual telling, but still fulfilling that need for a movie, based on the history of the Joker, and giving us that delicate balance between pity yet disgust.

It was more just a rampant malady of disjointed insanity.

I wasn't sure if he was going to become the joker and revel in his treachery, or just be treated as a lunatic hated by everyone without ever entering into the role.

I am just bereft of any feeling... despite a few moments where hope had shone, giving me something to grasp onto.

eek, at least I was not left utterly depressed at the end... despite the final scene being a little bit open ended.. Run Arthur, Run.. lol


Same for me, was at least hoping we would see how he went from just a psycho to a gang leader.


I couldn't disagree more. I definitely felt that balance. I felt sympathy for that character, the pathos was real, yet he kept being so horrible and going further into madness (and eventually evil) that I abandoned him. It was a similar relatability to Walter White, as far as I'm concerned.

The film managed to keep me on my toes, partly because it was a standalone movie. They weren't trying to set anything up necessarily, so we never knew what would happen.

It also maintained a complexity to its themes, about madness, the contribution of poverty, the politics under-girding the whole thing, class wars, and stayed inside the Batman mythology nicely, too. I thought the handled the balance well.

This was not a comic book movie I'd seen before. It was a refreshing gust of air in a formulaic superhero world.

Love that phrase you came up with, though: rampant malady of disjointed insanity.


You put it rather succinctly, really. There was all of this, but as a standalone movie, I still expected more, but really, it is just that.
I guess, personally, in my going in to the movie, I wanted to see more of the way he became who we know he was. We didn't, but we did indeed get some - we didn't get the madness we wanted to witness. We didn't get the 'Joker' we know.. We got the bereft vague beginnings, the bare understanding of what he was.
To facilitate it we'd need a sequel, but... then we'd ruin this story. we would take away what we did feel.
They should have included just a little more, not as an addendum but as a part of the telling. it tried to do this just with it's being, but it fell short, and all of it could have been put together.
I still liked the movie, but it still leaves me wanting that little bit more, you know??

It's the Joker, after all.. We had blaine explained to us in an entire Batman movie, in detail, but as a sub plot. and as much as I love Tom Hardy, Phoenix could have been so much better, especially with this entire movie.. He had this tale in his grasp, only to be tickled with a tale so taken from him for worry, I guess, in this modern climate.


I guess we're seeing the same thing, but having a completely different reaction to it.

I can definitely understand wanting more! Yeah, it would've been interesting to see him actually rock a crime spree, get into the devious chemical attacks the Joker is known for, but I felt like the movie took us right to the brink of that and then lets the Batman comics and other movies take it from there.

This is who he was before, his transition phase, and can watch The Dark Knight or read The Killing Joke or Batman #1 or something like that.

And where we're seeing our divide is that I was okay watching the caterpillar and cocoon phases, and you would have liked to see a little bit of butterfly...


I wanted that butterfly so much.. the movie enticed it, crawled at it, but I was left with a sticky goo on a bereft leaf... weird allusion, to be sure Oo

But I did so want this to be a start. It felt tepid in it's finality. It didn't have that umpf, it was like the ending to stargate atlantis, you wanted to know, realise, witness, more... but were left hanging.

I don't want to start reading comics to get that fulfillment after the fact.. I wanted that to hit me right in the feelers, right there, and then allow me to peruse those things, in leasure, not be left wanting to have to fulfil those things at random.

Just a movie watcher, me.. not a fan of the franchise, per se.. simple satiation, required. not instructions to go back to beyond..

:) still, it was a good performance by phoenix. That I can say. :)


I'm on-board with the idea that the movie should speak its own piece. I don't like when somebody tells me that I can't "get it" until I read the book/watch until episode seven of the TV series/ whatever. It's got to stand on its own.

I do think Joker stands on its own, but I am a big Batman comic fan, so I will never know how fulfilling the movie would have been for me had I not been a big ol' nerd. I do have friends who loved the film without that background, so anecdotally I can say that's true.

I definitely understand your gross, hilarious metaphor of the sticky goo disappointment. While I don't share your experience, I can empathise with how you arrived at the place you did.


I know what you mean about a movie standing on it's own, while people just lambast it for not being any good and accuse you of just not getting it.

Look into the movie Ink. I thought it was brilliant.. loads of people said it was shite.

But for an indie flick, it stood apart and on it's own. a unique meander into someones mind story that came across as a surreal imperfect, perfection, in my mind.


I will add Ink to the list. Thanks for the recommendation!


It was alright / verging on being pretty good.

The Joker name put bums on seats. The Scorsese ripping off seems to have given it some critical edge / made people who haven't seen any of the copied films think it's some Dark Knight busting masterpiece.

In the end though - a good few weeks after seeing - I'm not looking back thinking I saw anything particularly groundbreaking. I'd probably say it was a 7/10 for me, which, given I rate the bulk of the MCU films a stock 6/10, is still pretty good I guess but I wouldn't unduly rave about it.


Yeah, I finally got around to watching it last night, and "a bit underwhelmed" aptly summarizes how I felt.

I don't mean to diss the movie, I thought it was actually pretty good; it's just... all the gushing and raving? Yeah, I was honestly left scratching my head at that.


You have to understand Arthur's frame of mind from beginning to end.
By the end, he was fully 'the Joker'... Killing (or whatever awful thing) because it was funny to him.

Remember the little jig he did after he killed DeNiro?
He was like embracing total chaos theory... nothing mattered, and the fact that other (normal) people saw it as awful was hilarious to him.

Like he said to the final nurse (before he presumably killed her), "You wouldn't get it."



No, I get that. And, among other small little details, I really liked how the only times his laughter comes across as natural and genuine - as opposed to the almost painful way his involuntary bouts look - is after he has fully embraced his Joker persona.

Like I said, I thought i was a pretty good film, overall. I just didn't find it "eight-minute standing ovation" good, in all honesty.


^ This !

Exactly how I felt.

You said it in 5 lines. A good movie, one I will remember, but not a standing ovation.



It’s one of those films that gets better with each viewing, on the first viewing I was a little disappointed with the portrayal of Thomas Wayne and Alfred, as they were so different and not what you’d normally expect, but this is Jokers story from his viewpoint, so I enjoy it for that.


Perhaps I need to do this.. I did it a number of times with Chopper (And I love that movie, same with Bronson for doing that) and perhaps need to get the nuances more.

I admit, there was a lot to Phoenix portrayal.



Beautiful cinematography, production design and art direction.

And, there are lots of good things in it. But, my takeaway was: Joker seems to just fall into these moments of being the criminal icon we know. He just happens to be invited on the show, and then he unleashes his rage, he gets freed from the police car and gets to stand up and be revered, etc.

I would have had him have his inner personality freed at some point, and become the instigator of the revolution. Make the show his coming-out party. And, instead of being humiliated on it, it could have been a demand by him to either be on the show, or he would make something bad happen.


This, this is something I feel compelled to agree with. Absolutely. Oh they missed the boat by doing what they did, as they did. He was trapped by the fatality of his own script, where there could have been an immaculate release, given the right writing...

It was a flower, pretty to witness, but.. no aroma.. not really. not outstanding at least. it was just a garden waiting to have that one thing stand out.. which it never did, alas.


You say "the" Joker whom I consider to be Jack Napier, a wily man, but strong-arm for the mob. He has been played by several actors throughout the years and some of those could be considered underwhelming as well as superior performances.

I didn't know what to think of "Joker" because he is some other guy we haven't met before. I didn't read anything about the movie except it was part of an alternative universe from DCEU. Maybe it would be considered a one-shot film.

I wondered what am I watching here and it held my attention as a different person going through poverty and doing work that is usually considered demeaning and humiliating by most people. We find he has a medical disorder of laughing at inappropriate times and appearing socially clumsy. Someone whom normal people would veer away from. Yet, Arthur Fleck has ambitions of being a comedian in order to better his situation, so it's something we, as the audience, can appreciate and root for. The director Todd Phillips and his actor Joaquin Phillips, tells and acts out the drama in a bizarre, but convincing manner. Who else would chase some kids who stole his sign through the streets of Gotham in a clown outfit? No big deal. One could get another one. The movie shines in this regard due to the different story line and character, acting and direction, taut musical score, and realistic cinematography. At the end, I didn't know what to think, but was turned off by the violence. The darkness and bleakness just added to it. However, afterward the movie grew on me. I thought about it, read articles about its treatment of mental illness. Long story short, I've upgraded my rating for this film on IMDB to an 8. I have it around 7.5, but voted 7 because I thought it was rated too high. I'm willing to pay and see this movie again in order to catch the nuances and stuff I missed and am willing to raise my rating again if it's worth watch a second time. The movie somehow stays with me.