REVIEW: ‘Joker’ isn’t funny

This is not a superhero movie, this is not a happy movie, there is no Batman, this is the Joker; and mark my words it will get nominated for a few Oscars.

Save a few select scenes, there would be no way of knowing that this film was at all related to the DC franchise. There was no comic book title card like we are used to seeing at the opening of the film, only the initial Warner Bros logo before entering a 1970s Gotham devoid of maniacs and vigilantes, yet filled with the same rampant violence.

There has been some controversy concerning the idolization of a disenfranchised mass murder, which should be addressed, but that is not what this movie is about. It’s a diatribe on mental health. It’s the story of a mentally ill man and how it destroys him.

“Joker” doesn’t want you to idolize the Joker, but pity him — well until he goes full Clown Prince of Crime.

We go to Marvel movies for a fun action flick filled with quips and heroes winning out against all sorts of adversity. Since “Man of Steel,” DC wanted us to know that they were dark, gritty and mature, giving us a Superman that kills General Zod (I apologize for the spoilers for a 6-year-old movie), but they never hit their mark. “Joker” hits it, and there’s not a single DC logo in sight.

Believe me when I say that this movie is better than it has any right to be, I’ve been complaining about the idea since the “Joker” announcement. Being directed by Todd Phillips, the guy that brought us the Hangover Trilogy, did not make it any easier.

But, instead of delivering us another “Venom,” he gave us “The Taxi Driver” in Gotham.

“Joker” is an arthouse film hiding under a mask of a superhero flick. It shows us that comic book movies don’t have to be action set pieces, but rather character driven stories that treat its audience as more than just walking wallets.

Like Captain America, DC just picked up Thor’s hammer, so Marvel might want to start worrying.