Originally Posted by Money 23
Bottom line is Jack was the right choice for the B89 movie. His name gave the character and movie credibility. Which is why they picked him. Was he too perfect for the role? Maybe. That's why people always say it was just Jack being Jack with makeup ... which makes sense, sometimes that works for actors just heightening their own sense of self.
But when you watch the movie, you're seeing the Hollywood superstar Jack Nicholson, and not THE JOKER. Thus, it's distracting.
Ledger's Joker is the character from the comics, with a grittier feel. I think the idea of him not being vein in terms of his look makes more sense with a youthful, grungy rebel who thinks society and their norms are a joke.
The thing with the 'Jack in Joker makeup' for me, Batman 89 was actually the first time I ever saw Nicholson in a movie. That sentiment resonates now in retrospect because I've of course seen Jack in several movies since. At the time of watching the film though( saw it as a 12 year old in the theatre), it was a guy playing the Joker. I had no frame of reference otherwise at that point.
I agree that Heath's Joker( taking just his performance out of the equation and focusing on how he was written) was FAR more complex and intelligently written than Jack's. As you said the motivations of each characters was on a completely different scale, Jack's Joker was fixated on smaller issues like running a crime syndicate and chasing a girl. Fairly linear and straight-forward concepts. Heath's character was written really as a man who was challenging life's status quo and wasn't motivated by 'simple' pleasures like money( hence his burning of the money stack). At that point, if it wasn't obvious already, you're thinking ok this guy is sick. I mean really, sick.
But he made you think, which is what makes the character resonate so strongly: consider his conversation with Dent in the hospital and the interrogation scene. You're supposed to be rooting against this guy but if you're being honest with yourself, alot of what he was saying makes perfect sense and you're fighting internally not to see his way of thinking. I'm not afraid to say I agreed with much of his philosophy. He was as uncompromising is his values as Batman was in his, which is what makes Heath's Joker such a great character and a legitimate threat to Batman and society on a larger scale.