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Todd Phillip’s Joker Is (Sort Of) This Century’s Fight Club

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR JOKER AND FIGHT CLUB AHEAD 

Click Here to Read My Spoiler-Free OG Review!

2nd Viewing

After reconceiving Joker, I’ve concocted this crazy correlation. Ready? Joker is this century’s Fight Club. Now, hear me out.

• Both movies purposely tampered with the execution’s perspective so that the viewers could feel as schizophrenic as the film’s characters. The whole affair feels spontaneously soiled so that it can allow us to sympathize with our protagonist who is audibly mentally ill.

• Both movies use violence as a means to show what can happen to a group of overlooked individuals. Even if Fight Club’s intentions are fleshed out SIGNIFICANTLY more, Fight Club is more of a hate-film towards consumerism rather than how we handle civilians. Joker, suitably, motors more as the hate-film towards how we manage and “deal with” people who have mental illnesses.

• Both movie’s main protagonist is somebody who starts off as a nobody and progressively rises to a position of leadership amongst vicious individuals who feel oppressed and corrupted by the system.

• Both movies are partially a character study of somebody who is mentally ill and is suggested to have suicidal tendencies.

• There’s a Tyler Durden twist in Joker involving Arthur’s lover. That’s a given. 

• Critics initially didn’t really support Fight Club because of its rebellious messages that it accomplished through anarchist-inspired activities. But give it a decade or two down the road and maybe, people will start to understand the unorthodox, grim admirability of it all.

Yes, I’m a little tentative to see that people are complaining about how The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver references are too imprudent in Joker, but I honestly believe that the whole ordeal is more stoutly influenced by the ungovernable tendencies of Fight Club.

Okay, but in spite of this movie basically being the comic-book, origins version of Fight Club with a creepy Joaquin Phoenix sprinkled in the mix, this re-watch confirmed to me that Joker is still… decent! The “meh” writing sort of hit me in the head harder this time, but, yeah, I still dig it as a Joker character study. Its social commentary may be casual as heck, but in the boundaries of a comic-book project, it is a competently-made supervillain origins movie. I needed this immediate revisit to re-confirm my feelings on such a divisive film.

And, the Joker’s big talk-show moment is certainly a contender for my top ten favorite scenes of 2019. Powerful, unsettling stuff.

“The worst part about having a mental illness is that people expect you to behave as if you don’t.” Quote of the year right there. Damn, that’s hefty.

Verdict Change: B –> B-

2019 Ranked

“Joker” is now playing in theaters. 

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