Every few weeks, I’ll be writing an article wherein I criticize something. It could be a movie, video game, Magic: The Gathering expansion, Tuesday, Willie the Hobo, people who like Daft Punk, etc. This week’s article focuses on the reaction to Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker as seen in the Suicide Squad trailer (view the trailer here).
So apparently there was some sort of convention thing in California recently. It would seem that this is where Warner Brothers and DC decided they would unveil the first trailer for their new Suicide Squad movie, and although they had released a photo of Jared Leto’s Joker previously, this was the first time we got to see footage of the portrayal.
This has given people feelings. Opinions, even. Judgments. I’m not really one of those people, however. I mean, I would LIKE to have an opinion on the matter, but I really just don’t care. That’s not saying that I won’t care when I see the movie, but to think that we can judge an entire performance based on one line and a laugh is a bit presumptive to say the least.
So what can we figure out from this little clip? Well, he has the same accent as Heath Ledger’s Joker. Maybe? It was one line, after all. For all we know, he was putting on an accent to mock his victim (the Joker’s a funny guy that way sometimes). We can also see that he has bad teeth and tattoos. That tells us… Nothing? Yeah, not really anything. We don’t know how crazy this joker is, so we can’t really put these affectations into context.
Really, we can’t put any of this into context because DC has been terrible at context lately. Their attempt to build a unified Avengers-like universe is probably going to fail because they’re trying to pretend as if they already have one, when they clearly don’t. The Arrow/Flash universe contradicts the Suicide Squad movie’s universe, which contradicts the Nolan Batman universe, which contradicts the Batman Vs. Superman universe. Don’t even try to figure out where Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern fits into all of this, especially considering his on-again, off-again relationship with Marvel (which is currently on again).
As for the Joker, I can only say that there are too many ways to play the character, and the best ways might already have been done.
Caesar Romero was the king of camp, Jack Nicholson mastered the sleazeball smile, Mark Hamill is the sultan of sinister, and Heath Ledger was cream of chaos. Jared Leto has some great expectations to meet, and a lot of pressure to, at the very least, differentiate himself from the late Ledger. When you look at the long history of the character, there’s really only one thing you can predict: He probably won’t be predictable.