This movie has been hailed not only on the street, social media and gossip columns it has also gained interest in the current awards season, garnering nominations and trophies. Most recently the Golden Globes gong for Best Actor and today BAFTA announcing eleven nominations.
This prequel about Batman’s most popular nemesis is dull because it is so predicatable. We all know what he becomes. So how did he get there? This film starts with him already brow beaten and depressed with a medical condition that makes him laugh when he’s stressed out. My opinions of Joaquin Phoenix as pseudo weirdo are quickly confirmed with his insane tearful cackling that is meant to convince us that his performance draws on something deep – the clichéd recipe for a gritty in ya face actor. However after 3 minutes it just feels like a stuck record reminiscent of the “laughter bag” that looped over and over when Nicholson’s Joker finally hit the pavement.
In a nutshell, this film could and should have just been 20 minutes long. I’m sure diehard Batman fans will love the retelling with nuanced differences rather like a Shakespeare fan will enjoy their umpteenth viewing of yet another fucking production of Hamlet (yes I went there). But my viewing, for example, was not enriched by seeing the ubiquitous scene of Batman’s parents being killed AGAIN (how many Batman films have that scene?). It all felt rather repetitious and unoriginal.