How many of you were surprised by how good The LEGO Movie was? Just the idea of anyone making a movie based off LEGOs just sounds wrong in every conceivable way. Going into it, most people expected a cynical, cheap advertisement for the toys with the subtlety of nothing. Instead, we were given a fantastic film with impressive animation, likable characters, perfect emotional moments, and a timeless moral. Plus, having a cast and crew full of talent with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller as directors. The LEGO Movie was the surprise hit that everyone fell in love with to the point that there was outrage over the Academy Awards not giving it a nomination for Best Animated Feature. Because of its runaway success, animation studios have been scrambling ideas in order to make the next LEGO Movie.
This has also caused Warner Bros. to immediately put in plans to make more theatrical LEGO movies. Today, we’ll be talking about one of those movies. This is The LEGO Batman Movie.
Bruce Wayne A.K.A Batman once again saves Gotham City from The Joker, who conspired to destroy the city. When he hurts his feelings, The Joker plans his greatest scheme ever while Batman has to deal with his number one fear: having a family. This is a simple plot that satirizes and deconstructs the Batman mythos while providing tons of entertainment and laughs.
If there’s one strength that these LEGO movies have, it’s their characters and LEGO Batman has no shortage of characters. Will Arnett reprises his role as The Caped Crusader. His version of Batman is a self-absorbed hero who pushes away any attempt at social interaction. He goes through a character arc where he learns to become less selfish and more inclusive in terms of socializing. The driving forces behind that are three characters: Alfred Pennyworth, Dick Grayson, and Barbara Gordon. Alfred (voiced by Ralph Fiennes) is Bruce’s trusty butler and father figure who makes sure that Bruce is on the right path and he encourages him to be more social and not be afraid to have a family. Dick Grayson A.K.A. Robin (voiced by Michael Cera) is an orphan who Bruce accidentally adopted and he fights crime alongside him as Robin. He’s the upbeat kid character, but he never gets annoying. He’s not just happy go-lucky, he’s also smart and is a quick learner, which earns Batman’s respect, even when he doesn’t want to admit it. This movie’s version of Barbara Gordon (voiced by Rosario Dawson) is much different from the other versions. She becomes the new police commissioner of the Gotham P.D. and she wants to use her resources to work with Batman so they can put an end to crime. Being who he is, Batman would rather work alone, but that changes as the movie progresses. I didn’t like when they show him falling for Barbara because thinking about them becoming an item is just awkward to me.
One of my favorite characters in the movie is The Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis. He’s the most entertaining version of the character in film. All he wants throughout the whole movie is for Batman to acknowledge him as his number one greatest arch-nemesis, all because Batman said he wasn’t important. You know what’s funny? There’s some genuine moments where I kinda sympathized with The Joker. Yes. The Joker. Only a LEGO movie could do that. In terms of other characters, nearly every Batman villain makes an appearance, even the obscure and absurd ones (Condiment King, anyone?) and so does the Justice League.
THE ANIMATION & THE HUMOR
Just like The LEGO Movie, LEGO Batman has some amazing animation. Even though it’s all done via computers, there are moments that looks like it was done via stop-motion, which gives the film and its parent movie a unique animation style. Now for the humor. This is one hilarious movie that’ll have you laughing from beginning to end. All of the jokes come at you at rapid-fire speed and 9 out of 10 of them are bullseyes. It’s like a PG version of Deadpool: there’s self-referential humor, there’s some pop culture references, references to various DC and Batman movies, TV shows, and comics, hell, various villains from other franchises make a cameo at the climax wreaking havoc on Gotham after The Joker freed them from The Phantom Zone after being sent there by Batman. Only in the LEGO universe does this shit happen.
I give The LEGO Batman Movie a 9/10. This is no LEGO Movie, but considering how awesome that movie was, it doesn’t need to. LEGO Batman is a love letter to Batman and his 70+ year history. It’s pretty evident that the filmmakers were huge fans of the hero and wanted to show it off. It also has no trouble taking the piss out of the absurdity of certain elements of Batman. I’m going to say something really out there: this is the best DC movie of the decade so far. Yeah. Better than The Dark Knight Rises and better than the DCEU movies. It represents Batman and the DC characters much more faithfully even when it’s a borderline parody. It’s entertaining fun for all audiences: adults and kids can both watch it and hardcore fans will appreciate the references. Seems like the LEGO Cinematic Universe is starting to become a thing because there’s gonna be another LEGO movie coming out later this year, LEGO Ninjago, and yeah, I’m perfectly behind this. There’s a ton of possibilities and stories to build with this idea and it could make for a great series of movies. As for LEGO Batman, go see it immediately if you haven’t. Trust me. It’s worth it.