If you have a set of eyes, a set of ears, or both, and you’ve seen a comic book movie, chances are you have more than your fair share of opinions of the performances given. This tends to be especially true of DC films, which have been the center of unending criticism ever since the 2011 Green Lantern film hit theaters. Between that, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad, fans certainly have found many things to poke and prod.
One of the big performances to get shafted by fans was Jared Leto’s take on the Joker. If nothing else, you can’t say it was like any other performance we’ve seen of the Clown Prince of Crime in the past. While I found it to be rather captivating, it had its fair share of critics who found him distracting, cheesy, and too over-the-top, even for the Joker. It’s always difficult to avoid comparing performances to those who came before, and in Leto’s case, he has two high bars set by Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill, who gave interpreted the character in The Dark Knight and Batman: The Animated Series, respectively.
While we obviously can’t get the opinion of Heath Ledger, we still have one iconic Joker to give his two cents. Speaking with Polygon, the talented voice actor and eternal geek Mark Hamill gave nothing but praise to Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker. He also went on to say that he doesn’t think anyone has given a “terrible” portrayal yet.
"Everyone brings a different spin to the character and you have to look at each script separately. I don’t think there’s a definitive version of the Joker and I don’t think there can be. It’s like Hamlet, really. It’ll be constantly redefined."
That’s definitely the beauty of these characters. In a single generation, we’ve seen two radically different live-action portrayals of Batman — Christian Bale’s and Ben Affleck’s. Both are great, but both are different in fundamental ways. The same can be said of every comic book film out there. The source material is a great starting point, but at the end of the day, there are as many interpretations of the material as there are people.
This is, of course, a positive and a negative, as it's this flexibility in the source material that leads to the polarization of some of the material in the current DCEU, which many fans don’t seem to care for. While Hamill didn’t give his opinion on the quality of those films, he pretty much said fans will have to suck it up.
“If you don’t approve of Zack Snyder’s vision then you’re kind of stuck because he’s in the driver’s seat.”
What did you think of Jared Leto’s Joker? With the recent digital release of Suicide Squad, have you had a chance to take a closer look at it? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Suicide Squad is out on Digital HD now!
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