The LEGO Batman Movie: Funniest Caped Crusader Ever
There are big changes brewing in the heart of Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker’s (Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, he may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. There’s definitely a good lesson in here for the kiddos as this fast-paced, quick-witted comedy deftly demonstrates when Batman’s superhero sidekick Robin (Michael Cera) and trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) show him a thing or two about teamwork.
Like The LEGO Movie (2014), The LEGO Batman Movie is a flick aimed at youngsters but that’s presented in a sophisticated, satirical spirit that’s sure to appeal to moviegoers and comics fanboys of all ages. There was an appearance by the Caped Crusader in the first Lego movie, but here he takes center-stage. The movie opens cute with Batman narrating the play-by-play of his own film (“All important movies start with a black screen,” he utters in his raspy baritone), followed by a rogue’s gallery of all the villains he’s fought and bested… the only one he can’t quite stamp out entirely is The Joker.
When he’s not being millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, Batman is tough, steely, invulnerable, and cowled in cool. No one can penetrate the fortress that surrounds his feelings, for he fears, deep down, that he might lose them – just like he lost his parents as a kid. But rather than making him a sympathetic character to inspire pity, the writers have chosen to armor this peg-like plastic superhero with narcissistic characteristics, conceit, and chilly aloofness… and just enough humor to make us root for him. What’s more, we hope that he just might find love with the new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson). But first, he’s got to banish his #1 enemy – he does, by jettisoning The Joker into the Phantom Zone, a purgatory penal colony in the clouds where only the most vile of villains – Sauron, Voldemort, the Wicked Witch of the West – can survive and plot and plan for their return to earth.
Digital animation creates the illusion of clunky plastic Lego bricks, but there’s a warmth and a depth to the crudely etched faces that comes across in subtle, inventive ways. The mere flick of an eyebrow says more than a page of dialogue. And it’s no wonder – the talented team of filmmakers consists of director Chris McKay (Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, Robot Chicken) and main writer Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride & Prejudice & Zombies) have oodles of pure imagination.
The LEGO Batman Movie is darker and edgier than the first Lego movie, what with the evil characters and their bastion of bombs, various weapons of destruction, and nonstop wicked doings. But because everyone and everything is made out of Legos, there’s no gore and no lasting damage (things are put back together in an instant). Snide jokes and pop-culture references may fly over the little one’s heads, but there are a few mildly risqué moments they’ll get – nothing too egregious, though.
The LEGO Batman Movie goes a mile a minute, but it’s never so swift that its gently-placed messages don’t come shining through. It’s a really great family film, and worth seeing on the big screen.
Tags : film movies superheroes LEGO