Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie (Spoilers)

When the first LEGO movie came out, I was not at all interested in seeing it in the movie house, as I thought that it would just be some kid’s movie that wasn’t worth my time. In fact, the only reason why I saw that movie was because my sister convinced me to, and I am glad that she did, as I walked out of the movie house with a smile on my face, and the song “Everything is Awesome” stuck in my head for days.

So, when I heard that they would be making a LEGO Batman movie, I was very excited to see where it would go, and after seeing the movie, I can confidently say that not only was this a great movie, but it was, in essence, a Batman movie at its core.

The movie was directed by Chris McKay, and featured the voice talents of Will Arnett (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Michael Cera (Robin/Dick Grayson), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon), Zach Galifianakis (the Joker), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth), and Siri (‘Puter), among others.

The story follows an egotistical and narcissistic Batman who unconsciously goes through a journey of self-discovery as he tries to foil the Joker’s latest plot to destroy Gotham and the world.

The premise sounds simple enough, but combine that with superheroic hijinks, a whole ton of meta, and a deep dive into examining the relationships that Batman has with his Bat-family and the Joker, and you have a great Batman movie that clearly understands who and what Batman is, while still being a fun kids movie.

Simply put, this film is the Batman movie you never thought that you needed.

From here on out, if you have not seen the movie yet, turn away, as there will be spoilers.

warning-spoilers

One of the things that I really loved about the film was the way that they delved into Bruce Wayne’s and Batman’s relationships with those around him, and in particular, with the Joker, who, at the beginning the film, he did not even consider as his greatest nemesis.

However, in the end, you end up realizing that yes, there can never be Batman without the Joker and vice versa, and no matter how many times the Clown Prince of Chaos seemingly disappears, you can always be certain that it won’t be long before he is back again, and the two are at each other’s throats once more.

Galifianakis was amazing as the Joker, and I loved how he ended up unleashing various villains from pop-culture to wreak havoc on Gotham, including those “Evil British robots”, which were basically, the Daleks. Also, I loved how they used Sauron’s eye as their all seeing CCTV system, and that Voldemort was there, while Fiennes was playing Alfred.

Aside from the whole Batman ending up liking Barbara Gordon, I loved how they played up the relationships and family dynamics between him, Dick Grayson/Robin, and Alfred. And I loved how in the end, they showed that the Bat-family, although strange as it seems, is really a family when all of them are there.

The entire voice cast was amazing, and I cannot find any flaws at all in their performance.

This movie poked fun at everything that Batman is, and  was done in such a wonderfully witty way that still gave respect to Batman and the Bat-family, which meant that the writers really knew their Bat-lore.

I also liked the little digs at past Batman movies, including “Batman v Superman”, and the moment when Batman and Robin were fighting the bad guys and action bubbles like “Kapow!” appeared on the big screen.

Aside from knowing the Batman mythos really well, the writers were able to create a script that delivered punch line after punch line that had me laughing out loud a lot. However, they also knew how to create emotional beats and scenes as I responded and reacted in kind at every suspenseful situation and emotional situation that they threw at me. I almost teared up at a certain point or two.

The story was paced well, and the only lag in the film in which the energy dipped a little was when Batman and Robin had that heart to heart talk while they were being held at Arkham Asylum, but that scene was necessary and furthered the relationship between Robin and Batman.

At the current going rate, however, with the right creative team, and the right cast, the LEGO film franchise is something definitely to look out for.

In the end, the LEGO Batman movie works not only as a satire of the Batman film franchise, but as a Batman film in and of itself. It manages to play up and poke fun at the character and the franchise, but it also manages to delve into the essence of Batman and his relationships with the Joker and his new minted Bat-Family.

Favorite Bat-Moments:

  • Batman infiltrating the Fortress of Solitude and discovering that the Justice League had a party without him and him coaching Dick Grayson/Robin during that infiltration sequence.
  • The beginning fight sequence.
  • Bat-merch gun.
  • How they stopped Gotham from falling apart.
  • The villains getting disconnected after Sauron’s eye was shot/killed.
  • Alfred talking about Batman’s other films.
  • The comic book like fight with action bubbles.
  • That ending dance sequence.
  • Daleks being called “evil British robots”.

Favorite Bat-Quote/s:

  • Batman: Black. All important movies start with a black screen. And music. Edgy, scary music that would make a parent or studio executive nervous. And logos. Really long and dramatic logos. Warner Bros. Why not Warner Brothers? I dunno. DC. The house that Batman built. Yeah, what Superman? Come at me bro. I’m your kryptonite. Hmm, not sure what RatPac does but that logo is macho. I dig it. Okay, get yourself ready for some… reading. If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. Hoooo. No, I said that. Batman is very wise. I also have huge pecs and a nine pack. Yeah, I’ve got an extra ab. Now lets start the movie.- Batman/Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett)
  • News Anchor: It must be great to be Batman.
    Fan: Batman, we love you!
    Batman: Thank you! I’m blushing super hard under the mask.
    Chef: Batman! Mwah!
    Batman: Prego!
    Fan: Thanks, Batman!
    News Anchor: I can only imagine he’s going home right now to party the night away surrounded by friends and lady activewear models.
    Batman: Hey, ‘Puter, I’m home.
    [echos] ‘Puter: Welcome home, sir. Initializing Batcave music. So, did anything exciting happened today? Batman: I saved the city again. It was off the chain. Anyway, I should probably have some grub.
    ‘Puter: Alfred left your lobster thermidor in the fridge.
    Batman: Oh, that’s my favorite. I can’t wait.
    [cue “One is the Loneliest Number” and scenes in which Batman does stuff alone in his house”] -Mostly Batman and ‘Puter (Siri)
  • ‘Puter: What’s the password?
    Batman: Iron Man sucks.
  • The Joker: it’s got to be one or the other Batman save the city or fetch your greatest enemy,you can’t do both.
    Batman: I’m sorry what did you just say?
    The Joker: Can’t do both.
    Batman: No I mean the other thing.
    The Joker: Save the city or catch your greatest enemy?
    Batman: You think you’re my greatest enemy?
    The Joker:Yes, you’re obsessed with me.
    Batman:No I’m not.
    The Joker: Yes, you are!
    Batman: No I’m not.
    The Joker: Yes you are! who else drives you up the way that I do?
    Batman: Bane.
    The Joker: No, he doesn’t?
    Batman: Superman.
    The Joker: Superman’s not a bad guy.
    Batman: What can I say, I like to fight around.
    The Joker: Are you seriously saying that there is nothing special about our relationship?
    Batman: Whoa, let me tell you something jail bird. Batman doesn’t do “ships”.
    The Joker: What?
    Batman: As in relationships. There is no us. Batman and Joker are not a thing. I don’t need you, I don’t need anyone. You mean nothing to me. No-one does. – Batman and The Joker ( Zach Galifianakis)
  • Alfred: Were you looking at the old family pictures again?
    Batman: No, I wasn’t!
    Alfred: Sir, I have seen you go through similar phases in 2016 and 2012, and 2008, and 2005, and 1997, and 1995, and 1992, and 1989, and that weird one in 1966.
    Batman: I have aged phenomenally.- Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) and Batman
  • Robin: Wait, does Batman live in Bruce Wayne’s basement?
    Batman: No, Bruce Wayne lives in Batman’s attic. – Batman and Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera)
  • The Joker: Wait a minute. Bruce Wayne is Batman’s……roommate?
  • Batman: What are you doing?
    Robin: I’m giving you a hug.
    Batman: Oh. I thought you were attacking me. -Batman and Robin
  • Batman: What would you know, Alfred? It’s not like you have a family of your own. -Batman to Alfred after Alfred asked him to take Dick under his wing like he did to Bruce.
  • Batman: Joker, I’ll say this only once…I….hate you.
    The Joker: [Happily] I hate you too. – Batman and the Joker

 

 

 

 

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