Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie

It is not a shock that the Lego Batman movie is far better than the Batman v Superman. I just didn't think it would be this good. This movie is far more of a tribute to all the versions of Batman. The movie is aimed at Lego fans and DC Comic fans. Just like The Lego Movie, Lego Batman is a nice little treat.
The movie is sharp with its jokes about Batman and the DC universe.  And, I am shocked how many references they included into the movie in an organic manner.  Even the opening credits get roasted by Batman!
Director Chris McKay keeps it based on the Lego Movie level of humor and style. McKay was one of the people behind the Lego Movie, so it makes sense this movie fits so well into the Lego universe (DC Lego-verse). McKay has to deal with a lot of story elements and they all fit rather well together unlike BVS.
While the movie is clearly aimed at children, and it should be, there are some adult moments that feel out of place. Plus, the movie pays tribute to the entire Batman mythology. There are references to the Nolan movie all the way to the goofy 60s Batman.
Will Arnett is the voice of Batman again, reprising his role from the Lego Movie. Other than Kevin Conroy, Arnett is brilliant as the Dark Knight.
The Joker is an interesting version compared to the other Jokers. He is less like the creepy one from the Batman Animated series. He is not Mark Hamill's joker, but a mixture between the 60s Joker and the one from Batman 89. Zach Galifianakis does a pretty good, if slightly muted, job as the clown prince. The Joker plays a huge part in the overall story and connects to the fact that Batman and the Joker are the flip sides of the coin.
Robin is also introduced in this story and I really dig the way they brought him into the story. He is very much a different version from most of the Robins I have seen in the Batman universe. He is literally a wide-eyed little kid that wants to impress Bruce Wayne/Batman at all cost. By the way, he is voiced by Michael Cera . He is the other awkward nerdy guy in the DC universe.
The movie also fully embraces the fact this is in the mind of a little kid with the laser effects sounding like a little kid making laser sounds. even the Lego aspects play an important role in the story. They even make this a commercial for Lego Batman/Justice League toys to boot. And, they do it in a manner that shines a light and joke of it.
-Batgirl does play role in the story: It is a very different version of Barbara Gordon. She is much older than the version in the current DC universe. She is an established police officer from another city that is brought in to take over for her father. I like that they went with the more seasoned Batman Beyond version of Barbara.
-Classic villains from movie history: There are a ton of these classic characters that show up as a team of supervillains. I like this new team of Joker-backed villains from the old school movies.
-The Lord of the Rings: I am surprised how much a certain character plays in the movie.
-John Williams shout out: At a certain point, the movie does play a portion of Williams' Krypton's theme from the first movie in nice Easter egg. I smiled and thought, "That's very clever, movie."
-Doctor Who: I liked the reference. And, they don't even mention the franchise, but they are clearly villains from that franchise.
-Iron Man gets a diss: Okay, DC, you threw some shade on Iron Man. Given they are similar people, I like the diss.
Overall, Lego Batman movie turned out to be a fun kid movie that pays tribute to both the live and animated Batmans from before but has an amusing little story. Both kids and adults will enjoy the movie greatly. Is it a perfect movie, nope. It is far more entertaining than what DC Comics is putting out as movies these days. It is not as good as The Lego Movie but is far more entertaining than anything DC has put in the theaters.

Grade: B+

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