The correct Martin Scorsese analog to Joker is not Taxi Driver but The Last Temptation of Christ—an aggressive deconstruction of a widely-known character prone to constant media re-imaginings. In both films, we are asked to believe that our squirrelly weirdo protagonist will ultimately become the larger-than-life figure we know so well. Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix largely succeed in creating something more cinema than theme park, though the Last Temptation comparison ends there.

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