Fresh off of the mixed reaction to the version of #TheJoker that we got from #JaredLeto in Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. has delivered yet another version of the iconic villain with The Lego Batman Movie, voiced by Zach Galifianakis. So, how did this new Joker hold up against previous, non-Lego versions that we've seen on the big screen, television and video games?
I would say that The Lego Movie is one of my favorite animated movies (outside of Disney/Pixar), but this #Batman installment seriously gives The Lego Movie a run for its money. It's funny, it's random and it brings the fun that we all want to feel when it comes to superheroes — and villains.
The Joker was easily one of the best parts of this new Lego installment. He's a very eclectic villain, and Warner Bros. took advantage of this to create a ridiculously great version of the Clown Prince of Crime. Here's why Galifianakis' Joker is one of the greats.
(Mild spoilers follow for The Lego Batman Movie.)
1. The Joker Was Funny, As He Should Be
The Joker is a criminal clown, so whoever plays him needs to be able to do comedy, which Galifianakis obviously can. Throughout the Joker's history, we have been treated to a wide variety of both subtle and not-so-subtle humor from him, and any true fan of the villain appreciates both.
Of course, The Lego Batman Movie is a children's movie, so the humor is more family-friendly than it might be from other iterations of the Joker, but Galifianakis' version is still funny in all of the right ways — both subtle and not-so-subtle — and the laughs didn't take away from how evil he truly was. That's how you do the Joker, guys!
2. He Works Together With Harley Quinn
One complaint from the most recent #DCEU release, #SuicideSquad, was that we didn't get to see enough of the Joker with his partner in crime, Harley Quinn. The Lego Joker soared because we got to see them working together as a team.
In the Joker's plot to take over Gotham City and banish Batman, using Superman's Phantom Zone Projector, he trusts #HarleyQuinn to stay behind as her alter-ego, Harleen Quinzel, to prepare everything for when the rest of the iconic villains arrive. After the villains are all wreaking havoc in Gotham, she and the Joker reunite and he attempts to carry out his master plan (and takeover of the Batcave), with Harley by his side.
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3. He Was A Genuine Villain
At this point, we have seen quite a few versions of the Joker — from Cesar Romero, to Jack Nicholson, to Heath Ledger, to Jared Leto (and even Mark Hamill) — but the Lego version that Zack Galifianakis brought was truly villainous. His motivation wasn't just to create anarchy, or to release all of Gotham's famed criminals onto the streets. He actually had an evil plot and he stuck to it no matter what.
To prove a point that he was truly Gotham's best villain (and Batman's vigilante destiny), the Joker came up with a foolproof scheme to involve not only Gotham's villains, but also iconic villains from different franchises. I mean, when you see Daleks and the Eye of Sauron show up in a Batman movie, you know someone is seriously up to no good. Not only that, but the way the Joker involved these villains stays true to a style that he alone could ever possess.
4. His Relationship With Batman
Coming back to the Joker's motivations, we can now talk about the best part of this movie: how it properly acknowledged the relationship the Joker and Batman have with each other. The Lego Batman Movie touched on this in an appropriate way because the Joker's motivation to take over #Gotham wasn't just to take over the city and be an evil villain. He wanted to prove to Batman (in an elaborate way) that they deserved each other and were truly number-one adversaries.
This comes full circle after Batman realized that his motivation to fight crime in Gotham was to defeat people like the Joker. Not only that, but the Joker's motivation is to rebel against justice that Batman brings, along with the Gotham City Police Department.
Since the introduction of the villain back in 1940, the Joker has been battling Batman on and off — and just like he can't seem to stay away from Batman, Batman can't seem to stay away from him, in whatever form they take.