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‘The People’s Joker’ review: Accomplishes what the MCU has constantly failed to do

And the world laughs with you.

The People’s Joker is able to accomplish in an hour and a half what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has tried and spectacularly failed to do for years. The plot follows an aspiring comedian who is also trying to come to terms with their identity. When attempts to join Gotham City’s only comedy troupe fails, she forms a own anti-comedy troupe, drawing the ire of the devious capes crusader that controls the city.

One sign of every poorly done movie is when the only way to talk about them is in comparison to other similar films. This can be difficult with writer-director Vera Drew’s release since it is an unauthorized parody that Warner Bros ironically called a lot of attention to in its efforts to make sure no one saw it. Making things harder is the fact that the MCU (and to a lesser extent, the DC Extended Universe) have made poor attempts to recognize underrepresented people. All that being said, The People’s Joker is a well written tale about someone coming to terms with their transgender identity and is filled with a sincerity not seen in the big budget superhero films.

This is partially due to the fact that it is a semi-autobiographical tale. Though The People’s Joker is filled with outrageous situations, there is a genuine quality that constantly comes through. This is seen most in Joker the Harlequin. The character deals with the pains that come with learning about oneself. It is a relatable journey that makes it all the more entertaining.

The production is eye-catching in moments. There are some great looking animated scenes and the colorful outfits will definitely stand out. It is the  live-action segments that are easily the weakest part of The People’s Joker. The greenscreen look adds to the chaotic nature of the plot, but does take away from the immersion.

Ultimately, The People’s Joker succeeds thanks to the love and care that is brought to the project – more than is often seen by Disney and Warner Bros. There is the obvious sensitivity with which Drew tells the coming of age story. But there is also a respect for DC Comics. This is a commentary on today’s corporate world not an all out attack on any one company. More impressively, it is a heartwarming story about discovering one’s self.

The People’s Joker comes to theaters April 5

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