I hardly remember the original Lego Movie (2014), but I do recall that they released an onslaught of Lego movie sequels after it. Among them, The Lego Batman Movie (2017).
Even though Batman is undoubtedly the greatest superhero of all time and everything he says and does is breathtaking, I still went into this film with skepticism.
When done incorrectly (98% of the time) sequels, film series’, and their endless Roman Numeral counterparts, are unholy creations. You cannot compare a masterpiece like Rocky to whatever the HELL Rocky V is supposed to be.
The Lego Batman Movie surpassed my expectations as a series film. Let me oversimplify the plot for you: We find Batman (Will Arnett) fighting the usual Gotham scum, including one of his greatest foes, The Joker. Unfortunately, Batman doesn’t view The Joker as his ultimate foe, and this hurts The Joker’s (Zac Galifinakis) feelings. So, The Joker decides he will devise a plan to show Batman just how formidable a foe he can be.
As The Joker’s plan gets quietly underway, Batman’s attention is distracted by his accidental adoption of a rambunctious boy named Dick Robin Grayson (Michael Cera) and his sparring matches with Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara (Rosario Dawson).
When The Joker’s maniacal plot starts getting out of control, Batman must learn to trust his new friends (and Alfred, who is voiced by Ralph Fiennes) if he wants to save Gotham.
I really appreciate how they tweaked Batman’s persona for comedy. To make it ironic, they kept his cool and mysterious demeanor, but made fun of his underlying faults. Batman is therefore depicted as a vain, sarcastic, lonely, man-child, and it works nicely.
There are three major elements that contribute to The Lego Batman Movie’s legitimacy: a fantastic script (screenplay and story by Seth Grahame-Smith), solid animation, and talented voice over acting to bring it all to life.
Some high points of the writing include:
- Witty, satirical, adult jokes that are all on-point
- References to the Batman movies, TV shows, and cartoons well-placed throughout
- A sophisticated and surprising plot
- Nice Lego tie-ins that don’t feel forced
- Great use of supporting characters, especially the villains!
Unlike many children’s films that are unnecessarily loud and brimming with annoying sound effects, this film stays energetic and action-packed in all the right ways.
Take, for instance, the sound they give gunfire. The “sound” of gunfire is simply the voice over actors shouting “Pew! Pew! Pew!” as animated Lego bullets fly on screen. These types of fun sound effect choices can be found throughout several points of the film, and even the old 1960’s Batman “sound-effect-displayed-as-text-bubble” makes a guest appearance.
If you must watch a children’s film, at least watch one that you’ll enjoy, too. This movie is the right recipe of creativity and humor, and its star ingredient is the 100% LEGENDARY AND UNDISPUTED CHAMPION OF SUPERHEROES, Batman.