Versus Mode! Joker v. Joker
For a time not so long ago now, the Blogosphere lit up fierce as though the days of Armageddon were upon us. Geeks battled geeks, film buffs snorted, and trolls everywhere climbed out from under their bridges. Before the Dark Knight rose, he merely was, and that long, dark film was on everyone’s must-watch list.
With the colossal success of Christopher Nolan’s Bat-sequel, hordes of fanboys took to the Web to extol the virtuosity of actor Heath Ledger’s performance as arch-nemesis The Joker. But a few stoic former fanboys fought back, slapped their knees and recollected a time when Batman was nigh high-art. To them, The Joker Incarnate was (and still was) the indomitable Jack Nicholson, whose turn as the character in Tim Burton’s Batman helped make superhero movies more than just a niche market.
Now that the dust has settled and tempers have subsided a bit, let’s take a more in-depth look at how these two performances really match up in Stars & Popcorn’s very own…
This Evening’s Contenders:
Jack Nicholson as The Joker
Heath Ledger as The Joker
Both Jokers are clown-faced terrorists obsessed with tormenting The Batman (hereafter simply “Batman”). They employ an array of psychological tactics to test their opponents’ sanity. Both use the news media for free publicity, and both have a carefully selected wardrobe of purple with green accents.
Now let’s see who gets the edge in each of these ten scientifically determined, 100 percent non-biased metrics of effectual Joker-ing.
1. Body Count
One of the simplest and most important factors in the comparison of on-screen sociopaths is the psycho body count, and here’s a category where Nicholson really shines. Ledger’s Joker kills to intimidate, sometimes to make a point (or make a joke), but his nonchalant pistol-work and precise assassinations fall short of the near-genocide that Nicholson unleashes on Gotham. His museum stunt alone brings him a nose short of the win.
2. Unconventional Weapon
Worthy of note, both Jokers kill at least one man with a writing utensil. For Ledger it’s a good ol’ No. 2 pencil, for Nicholson, a feather pen. The feather pen gets style points, but the accolades for flawless execution go to Ledger. It’s a pretty good magic trick.
Its’ gone! … … Hey, what’s that behind your ear?
Even while Ledger’s Joker surgically implants a cell phone bomb into one of his goons—and that’s pretty neat—the weapon itself is kind of standard issue. So when push comes to shove, the edge here goes to the guy who electrocutes a local mob boss to death with a gag buzzer.
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