Lucien’s First Take: Jared Leto’s Joker

When I saw that DC is trying to follow in Marvel’s footsteps with their own cinematic universe, I was skeptical.  Partly because I think that they are a little late to the party, and partly because I think that the new Superman was boring and Ben Affleck’s Batman will be sup-par.  The new trailer for Batman vs. Superman didn’t help.

When I heard they were making a live action movie based on the Suicide Squad plot, that got me thinking that there might be hope.  Because I just saw a rather enjoyable animated version of the same thing.  Of course, that film had Troy Baker’s absolutely stunning Joker.  For real, he was able to take the reigns from Mark Hamill in a way that I wouldn’t have imagined.  But then, it’s Troy Baker.  If anyone can do it, it’s him.  He’s arguably the best voice actor working today.

When I heard that Jared Leto would be taking the role of the Joker, I was…unsure.  I mean, he’s not really been in anything.  At first, I confused him with the sexiness that was the guy who played the Winter Soldier, but that’s Sebastian Stan.  Yum.  In any case, I didn’t know what to think about this character.  Then they released an image of what he’s going to look like…

Jared Leto JokerBefore we get to talking about this, let me preface what I am about to say by saying that there are plenty of Joker iterations that are unique.  A lot of people gave Troy Baker’s Joker in Arkham Origins shit because they had the Joker in a leather coat was a bad call.  I don’t.  Mostly because, again, Troy Baker.  For real, this guy is just awesome.  But this Joker doesn’t look the part.  AT ALL!

I mean, am I the only person who thinks that those tattoos are just totally unsubtle?  I mean, “damaged”?  Really?  Yeah, that totally isn’t overkill.  Then there’s all the “Ha”s on him.  It’s all so lacking in naunce or uniqueness.  I am cool with the Joker having ink.  No joke, that part doesn’t bother me one bit.  But there are so many unique tattoos to work with!  The Joker is complicated.  He’s strange.  He doesn’t do things for reasons people understand.  If the Joker gets a tat, I always saw it as something absurd, for no reason.  Like Rainbow Dash with her head shoved up her ass or something like that.  Something where you are left wondering why, and then you realize – asking why is not the thing to do.  There is no why.  Then you see a tattoo of Tweety Bird or something.  Just a bunch of absurdity that you can’t help but be amazed and confused by.  That’s the Joker!  Not some skull with a jester hat.  That feels like it was decided by executives who sat around asking – what’s popular with the kids these days?

Then, there’s the fact that this Joker looks like a juggalo.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why this bothers me.  Those guys are about as subtle as a brick being dropped on your foot!  Part of what made the Joker such a cool character is the fact that you could never tell what he was thinking.  When he was dangerous, he was really dangerous, but you didn’t see it coming.  You never knew how to feel.  He could sing love songs to Batman, like in this video here.

And then kill people.  No rhyme, no reason.  By the way, the dude who is sporting the look in that short fan film has it down to a fault.  No joke, I’m impressed.  And whoever did the singing voice, you sir, need more work.

All of this being said, let me make one thing clear – I am totally open to Jared Leto blowing us out of the park with an amazing performance.  If he makes a new version of the Joker, then I think it could work.  Plenty of versions have worked.  From the campy Romero Joker, to the mixture of funny and deranged Nicholson Joker, to the quirky violent charm of Hamill’s Joker, and the terrifying darkness of Ledger’s Joker.  All of these are good and different.  If Leto knocks this out of the park, then you know what – I’m happy.  But this look doesn’t impress me.  And if the Joker is sporing the Juggalo look, then I have worries about what Harley’s look is going to be.  If I see Juggalo Harley, I’m done.  No joke, I’m done with this movie.

Your move, DC.

Initial Verdict
4 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

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