The Joker is only one of the many controversial aspects of “Suicide Squad“. A lot of hate has been directed toward Jared Leto, who portrayed The Joker in the film. Some say his performance was way too “overhyped”, some even going as far as calling it a “disgrace” to method acting. While some would argue he’s the best live action Joker we’ve ever had, or at least good enough. The truth is he’s not all bad, and he’s not all great either.
Possible spoilers for “Suicide Squad” ahead.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you should know Jared Leto went full Joker on set. He brought a dead pig to the set, sent Margot Robbie a rat, and sent many other strange “gifts” to his co-stars. This is the thing most people had a problem with.
We heard all these on set stories about things he did and how scary he was, only for him to be in the movie for about ten minutes. I think that’s the main problem, we didn’t get to see near enough of him with regards to all the behind the scenes craziness, and what we did see of him was brought down by poor writing.
Personally, I think Leto was a fantastic Joker; I just don’t think he was given much to work with. But, of course, I’m judging the character in the movie and not just his performance.
The thing I liked most about Leto’s Joker is his laugh, and the way he talks in general. It’s haunting to me. It’s something I would hear in my nightmares, and I love that. It’s what the Joker should sound like. During the scene where Johnny Frost comes into Joker’s room full of knives, I got chills when he said “Where is she?”, then proceeded to lie in a ring of knives and laugh. This is probably my favorite scene in the movie, just because of Leto’s great delivery and how well it fits Joker’s character.
That’s probably the only truly memorable moment The Joker has in the movie. Because of his lack of screen time, he isn’t given much to do. In fact, you can cut every scene he has out of the movie and it wouldn’t affect the story at all. I truly hope in the future – assuming Leto and Warner Bros. don’t have a falling out – that he’s given a role that matters. Hopefully Ben Affleck will write The Joker into his solo Batman movie and we’ll get to see a more fleshed out version of the character.
From the get-go the reaction to Leto’s Joker was mixed, dating all the way back to last year when David Ayer first revealed the look of the character in promotional material. Not a lot of people were fond of the tattoos. I was one of those people myself. Now I can say they kind of grew on me – even though I can’t stand the teardrop “J” one on his cheek – but I was excited because David Ayer said the tattoos would actually tell a specific story. They didn’t. I don’t know if that was cut from the movie or what, but it didn’t happen. If they do actually tell one day why he has the tattoos, then I might like them more. For now, however, I could do without them.
Not a lot of people approve of the “grills” either. We all know he got them from Batman punching his teeth out – and I like that – but, I wish they would’ve explained that in the movie. Normal every day movie-goers aren’t going to know these things, and they should be explained because there is a story to tell.
“By the way, I’ve got some grape soda on ice and a bear skin rug waiting…”
Some of the lines for The Joker in “Suicide Squad” are just plain dumb, coming from someone who has seen the movie four times and loves it. And some of them are memorable and brilliant!
“Oh, I’m not gonna kill ya, I’m just gonna hurt-cha, really, really, bad.”
This is something The Joker would say! It baffles me how most of his lines are just hit or miss, when this is such an iconic character.
I’m okay with the “gangster Joker” thing. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I think overall it worked. If it were me, I would’ve done away with the whole gangster thing and just made him The Joker. Just an insane, psychotic clown, who has no motive but to cause utter anarchy.
Overall, I think Jared Leto gave a great performance but I think it was just a little overhyped and brought down a bit by poor writing. I would still love to see this Joker again in the DC Extended Universe.
What are your thoughts on Jared Leto as The Joker? Let us know in the comments!