Look, I'm not trying to predict the future, and I am not trying to undercut any of the fantastic performances that have come before. I am, however, being my natural and optimistic self, weighing Jared Leto's performance on exactly what I have to go on at this point... the trailers. And I have to say, I LOVE WHAT I AM SEEING!!!!!
In case you didn't know there is a new Suicide Squad trailer that went live from the WB's Youtube channel. Here it is in all it's inglorious... well... glory:
This trailer is loaded with several stand-out characters... namely, at least for me, Boomerang. I really didn't expect much from him, yet for all the tiny glimpses we are given I think he is going to prove a fun member if this ragtag team of miscreants. Obviously Harley Quinn is maddeningly brilliant, Deadshot is bitter yet more than capable, and Rick Flag spends the entire two and a half minute trailer appropriately contemplating aloud the depravity of his motley crew of misfits.
But a lot of the screen time is given to the Clown Prince of Crime himself. While he only has one spoken line and one laugh, we are offered a bigger window into the multilayered madness of this cray cray fiend. He laughs, smiles, and creeps me out of my skin. But is he the next revelation in the ever evolving cinematic story of Mr. J? What does have to prove? Or rather, should he have to prove anything? If he is great in the role, does he have to be compared to other live action iterations? Here is my two cents on the matter:
To start, I have to say that I love the look, tone, tambour, and overall feel of this version of the Joker. I say "version" because he most definitely exists in a universe unlike any that have come before in the history of DC movies. It isn't just dark or visceral, it is fantastic. While building a shared universe in which there will be super powers, magic, and other larger-than-life abilities it is important for the characters to bring some new relevance to the screen. What I mean, in a nutshell, is that while Christopher Nolan's incredible vision for Batman was brilliant, it was firmly planted in reality... for the most part. With little exception in the Dark Knight trilogy everything was fairly believable. It was only slightly leaning towards exceptional without crossing the line into the unbelievable realm. Well, this new DC Universe is taking a mighty plunge into that unbelievable territory.
Batman has to be reintroduced if for no other reason than this: No other Batman that has come to the big screen before could believably step into the ring with the likes of Superman. Now, as many comic book readers know, Batman can and has put up a descent fight against the Man of Steel, but the average moviegoer is not aware of this. And how could they be? They were most recently shown a very grounded, very believable Dark Knight... basically Jason Bourne with a cape and cowl. But now it is time for them to meet the World's Greatest Detective that so many comic readers have known for some time. And with this new realization of the Batman on the big screen a new fantastic vision of his greatest nemesis inevitably must follow.
So what exactly should be different about this Joker from all the others? What defining characteristics should be enhanced, or even blown out of proportion to really drive home the fact that this is not your grandfather's Jester of Genocide? To be honest, I don't exactly think that question is being asked correctly... by myself or anyone else. Rather than ask what makes this Joker stand out from the stellar performances that came before we might better serve the character by asking is this Joker any good? While "anything as good as or better than Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Cesar Romero, or even Mark Hamill" is a worthy goal, I think a far better one is simply "like the comics."
"But John... he is covered in tattoos?!?!?!" Yep, and it isn't the first time. But I am not here to argue about the tats. I am far more interested in the man beneath the ink. Is he crazy? unpredictable? dangerous? overly confident? outrageously reckless? so fashionable he's unfashionable? and, above all... happy? I'd say so. He appears to be loving everything about his life/knife/gun/toy collection... not to mention those sweet wheels.
He has everything it takes to be a character that steps into frame and makes you as uncomfortable as Hannibal Lecter. He has stepped way beyond the line of crazy and into the realm of overtly psychotic, you know, like the one guy leaving Sears with shopping bags full of every knife they had in the store. I love it! In fact, I love it so much I am clearly rambling at this point. I'm not exactly sure what I was going to say next. Oh well. Probably a good place to stop anyway. Let's wrap this up... I love the new Joker so far, and I am really excited to see the full vision come to life later this year.
What about you? Did this new trailer get you even more excited for this newest interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime? Are you not sure if Jared Leto can live up to the towering legends that come before? Are you just excited that we are getting 7 super hero movies this year?
Tell me about it in the comments section below.