The LEGO Batman Movie (2017 USA)

OK, this is probably just a huge cynical money grab, but at least its a Batman comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes it suitable for people who don’t particularly like Batman. It’s fun and lighthearted. And most importantly, it has the re-watch factor strongly going for it. You will have to watch it again to catch all of the jokes and zingers you missed the first time around. It spoofs the Batman mythology, but respects it at the same time. 

Plot Outline: Batman is the dark vigilante of Gotham City. After defeating the Joker yet again, Batman hurts his feelings and tells him he means nothing to him. The Joker soon comes up with a new plan to bring Batman and Gotham to its knees. Batman will need the help of Robin, Alfred, Barbara Gordon and many others to defeat Joker’s army of villains. Just the animation and production design are positively mind blowing. With few exceptions, every design in the film from people to buildings and vehicles can be created with those iconic plastic building blocks. Much like with the previous LEGO movie, other LEGO universes get screen time as well (some of which are mentioned by name and others are implied), such as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, King Kong and more. The script, by Seth Grahame -Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern & John Whittington (phew!) has plenty of amusing dialogue if you’re in the mood for being childishly silly:

Batman: “Batman doesn’t do ‘ships. As in relationships.”

Robin: “Hey, I was thinking. If I’m gonna be a superhero, and go on awesome superhero missions like this one, can we use code names? Mine can be Robin.”

Batman: “As in the small, Midwestern frail bird?

Robin: “Yeah, and I already have a catch phrase. Tweet, tweet, on the street.”

Batman: “Hard pass.”

Robin: “Wait, does Batman live in Bruce Wayne’s basement?”

Batman: “No, Bruce Wayne lives in Batman’s attic.”

Robin: “My name’s Richard Grayson, but all the kids at the orphanage call me Dick.”

Batman: “Well, children can be cruel.”

Computer: “What is the password?”

Batman: “Iron Man sucks.”

(“I should have known better than to sneak up on you, Master Bruce.” Alfred Pennyworth)

With all the characters in the film, the focus is never shifted from Batman and the Joker. There are many rabbit trails the film could have gone down, but it always stays true to the central characters. Over stimulation is another risk in a film like this one; but, for all the action sequences and ensemble casts, never once does the film feel that it is way too much to take in and enjoy. Crafting the vision is director Chris McKay. Selecting the right director to handle all the elements of a LEGO movie is no short order. Even the costumes are representative of many Batman universes. For the most part, Batman’s costume is rooted in the one worn by Michael Keaton in Batman circa 1989, but Bat Girl and Robin’s costumes, respectively, are more reminiscent of the show from the 1960s. Even the old sound effects during the fights (“zap! kapow!” etc ) from the Adam West TV series get a workout.

Will Arnett takes centre stage here. He voices Batman with a hilariously grim, gravelly voice almost choking on his own rage. In fact, he only gets up in the morning or is motivated to do anything because of the rage swirling in the pit of his guts. Despite his intimidating selfish misanthropy, you still sympathize with him as he learns about his various figures of “family” and tries to move forward as the caped crusader. One thing that was weird was: since this film takes place in a universe where all the previous incarnations of Batman has happened then how does Batman not know of his previous relationship with Robin!? After all, during his 1966, 1992, 1995 etc phases, he had his dynamo duo sidekick around. Also, how is it possible that Joker is still around, if he died during the events of the 1989 Jack Nicholson movie? Just saying. To sum up then; if you like a joke-a-minute flick then check this one out.

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Comments

  1. Brilliant review! This is a great move for lighthearted laughs. Amazing production values and Will Arnett – ’nuff said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! I went into this one with low expectations but was thoroughly entertained. 🙂

    Like

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