Tay’s review published on Letterboxd:
this is like instagram poetry... vague aphorisms that lean on paper thin theses (you / loved her / but / i / loved you), which ends up saying nothing in its grand attempt to be universally #relatable. specifics are what earn you poignant catharsis! it’s not enough to just say “it’s getting real terrible out there”—in what way?? why?? how?? jesus christ please give me even just one detail that isn’t also exposition
i expected that if i didn’t like this movie i would’ve had a tizzy fit about the way it portrays women or its misuse of violence as a means to upset the status quo. don’t get me wrong—the women here don’t have any original thoughts of their own, and they are only here to support Arthur emotionally as a therapist (who sucks), a mother (who sucks), or a romantic interest (who sucks but also is literally a manic pixie dream girl); violence is played for laughs and shock, and i think largely leans into race to pull it off... Arthur is maligned by society because he... isn’t funny?... but he also is so quickly celebrated as someone who murdered the #crooks, and it never feels earned or weighed consequentially.
but... like yeah it sucked at all of that, and still i don’t think it is really worth anyone’s time to pick apart further. it’s just not interesting—it doesn’t have anything novel to say, and whatever it’s grasping at is said as if spoken with a mouth full of food. bad is one thing, bad AND boring is another
i also think the whole “what do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society...” line should’ve not only disqualified this from the Oscars, but Todd Phillips from ever writing another script again