The Lego Batman Movie
Director: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis
Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Wittington
A review by Gregory Brothers
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
Back in 2014, the world was introduced to the “Everything is Awesome” LEGO world when The LEGO Movie came out to much fanfare. Besides the catchy songs that every elementary and middle school student ending up singing, one of the breakout stars of the movie was LEGO Batman. Almost immediate demands, rumors, and then details of a standalone movie began to hit the interwebs and the masses were pleased. Finally, after a three year wait, The Lego Batman Movie gives us the Batman movie we always knew we wanted.
Batman has always been confident in his abilities, but LEGO Batman, played by Will Arnett, takes that confidence to the next level. I mean, he has a nine pack, how much more confident can you get? In addition to being confident in his ability to save Gotham, he’s also confident in his beat-boxing skillz. The people of LEGO Gotham know that no matter what disaster is around the corner, Batman will be there to save them and he will receive a hero’s celebration afterwards. Yet while the public thinks that LEGO Batman lives a glamorous life, you can only eat so many microwaved lobster thermidors by yourself before even the most confident hero wonders what else is out there.
After a night of avoiding his feelings and his fears, Batman finds his way to a black tie event as Bruce Wayne. While at the event the orphan Richard Grayson, played by Michael Cera, approaches Bruce to get advice of what he should do to get adopted. After going through the checklist of what it takes to get adopted the young Mr. Grayson convinces a distracted Bruce Wayne to adopt him. It would not be the last surprise of the night as The Joker, played by Zack Galifianakis, shows up to unleash the first part of his major plan. Batman soon finds that the Joker’s plan is at such as scale that even Batman might not be able to work alone this time, and a story of the importance of friends and family intertwine with the action adventure parts of the film.
Since The LEGO Batman Movie is based on a toy line, it’s obvious who the main audience of this film is going to be.. One of the fears you have as an adult walking into a movie like this is that it will be so dumbed down that by the end of the movie you may want to poke your eyes out. Thankfully, The LEGO Batman Movie is not only filled with the fast paced, fun, bright, and positive story that you would expect with a movie geared to kids, but is also filled with enough jokes and throwbacks that pay homage to every genre the Batman franchise has ever seen that I guarantee this is a film you’re going to enjoy too. The story advances nicely throughout and has a plot that is kid friendly and ends with a very positive message in addition to a song that had many of the kids in the theater dancing in their seats.
Like The LEGO Movie that came before, The LEGO Batman Movie uses CGI to make all the LEGO bricks onscreen. Although the blocks are digital, they’re used in a way that’s true to how the real blocks are used, which allows for the animators to create, alter and tear down structures (and build them back up) quickly throughout the movie. The use of the constantly moving blocks creates visuals that has you looking for what’s next as blocks scatter across the screen and reform new builds within minutes. Moving as fast as The LEGO Batman Movie doest keeps the young people’s attention throughout the movie. I always enjoy when a movie takes little things into account to make it more appropriate or true to what the film stands for. One of the small things that had me laughing every time it was done was the characters when shooting guns would yell pew-pew, which seems appropriate because a kid playing with the toys would be doing the same thing.
When it is boiled down to its core, The LEGO Batman Movie holds many of the same values as the movies that have come before. You have a disconnected millionaire who is dealing with the loss of his parents and trying to make sure that he is never close enough to get hurt again. Of course, being a LEGO movie, it’s done in a much more lighthearted way than any of the other films, but make no mistake. This is a Batman film at its heart and the diehard fan will not be disappointed.
See It! If you are someone who has to have all of the origin stories match when it is put onto film then you may want to skip this, as there are some major changes to the Batman mythos. However, if you’re looking for what is probably the most lighthearted and fun Batman movie since 1966 then The LEGO Batman Movie is the one you’re looking for. The story is not only entertaining but shares a great message of how important friends and family are. To be honest, this was a very fun movie and I recommend seeing it sooner rather than later so that many of the surprise twists and cameos do not get ruined.