Ages 11 and under
Explosive Kid’s Comedy
It happened last year in Deadpool, and now The LEGO Batman Movie does the same basic shindig: as the opening credits come up, Will Arnett speaks in his bat-voice, mocking the clichés utilized by the logo format. Then once the official story starts, the title character introduces himself… in LEGO form! Looks like we’re in for yet another wild mockery of heroism!
Robot Chicken regular Chris McKay recreates the classic bat fun from both yesterday and today with explosively wild fight sequences and its own vocabulary of slang. Best of all, you don’t have to follow the bat-franchise to pick up the laughs aplenty; many jokes stem off “first world problems” such as waiting for food to heat up. Past the big bad bat’s self-absorbed nature, his little “irks” are hilariously relatable.
All the caped crusader’s misadventures are guaranteed to trigger cheers from fans of the franchise as well as newcomers. Right from the first several minutes he takes on his baddest foe forever, (no not Superman) the Joker. He basically breaks the clown’s heart by telling him their enemy-ship means nothing to him, and he then goes straight to basking in the praise of Gotham. Everything else afterward both pokes fun at Batman’s old days and brings in every- literally every baddie he has ever had to fight (including the Condiment King!) over his near-eighty year existence.
This new type of Batman behaves differently from the interpretations by West, Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, Bale, and Affleck. He spends his free time eating microwaved lobster in the middle of a swimming pool and laughing at emotional scenes in romantic comedies including Jerry Maguire. (Yes, there are live-action films in the LEGO world; it makes no sense but who cares?) Then while out in the crowd under his cowl, he gloats about his abdominal “nine-pack”. While out of the suit as Bruce Wayne, anyone ought to feel stupid for not recognizing his egocentric personality. Normally, nobody would want to know him personally, but Will Arnett’s vocal performance as the Dark Knight is easy to love!
The LEGO Movie was a big, unexpected surprise three years ago, and now the same LEGO universe gets an expansion with the same style of humor, except with Gotham now in the mix—a nine-year-old’s dream come true! The creative world designed off real LEGO bricks still brings out the same feel of playing with LEGO bricks at a young age, but now, not nearly enough creativity plays off the first movie’s celebrated concept. Heck, several of the smoke clouds and water floods are not even made of LEGO bricks! Bummer!
Although the familiar joke-a-millisecond style of humor remains unscathed, which could turn away those who didn’t enjoy the first movie for that very reason. If you are overwhelmed by briskly paced dialogue and complementing loud colors, then don’t bother with such a franchise.
At least it means The LEGO Batman Movie tries to be as far away from the overly serious character we’ve seen in the last few movies, and the given circumstances fit the cheesy nonsensical nature, more so than what Schumacher succumbed us to. The tiny LEGO universe stands out from all recreations of the famous crime fighter with its traditionally altered set of role models: the publicly praised heroes are actually bad guys in another way, and the publicly condemned villains have a means of becoming heroes in their own right. I mean, it makes the shoe fit, right? With his black, scary cowl, large cape, hoarse voice, and habit of bullying others, shouldn’t we consider Batman a villain? Maybe his new burden *ahem* responsibility of taking custody of orphan Dick Grayson to help stop the Joker’s evil plan will change things.
Sure enough, LEGO Batman has no choice other than let his new adoptive son don a racially offensive Rastafari costume, name himself “Robin,” and fight against all the great pop culture baddies including Voldemort and Sauron. Against his wishes, Batman cannot fight alone: he needs all the help he can get to send these villains back to the “Phantom Zone” (which is an extra-dimensional prison for bad guys) they came from, or else risk Gotham splitting in half, exposing the bottomless abyss underneath.
Overall, if you walk into The LEGO Batman Movie expecting a serious toned town character study, look elsewhere. If you go in expecting a smartly written love letter to the Dark Knight, one to tug on your heartstrings and bring back your inner child, tears of amazement are a guarantee.
The LEGO Batman Movie points out one problematic character trait about Batman, and most any superheroes in our pop culture: a massive ego. Nobody likes somebody who can’t stop gloating about themselves, yet we can still unknowingly fall victim to serving our own ego over our friends and family. Especially when somebody has autism, they often cannot grasp when they are putting their own desires in front of somebody else, and publicly bragging about it.
Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome, Lesson #57: We Get Overexcited Sharing Our Passions.
I know, because in high school I too prioritized my ego over friends. I remember in my sophomore year when one of the girls in my social group was upset because her best friend was not placed into one of her classes. I attempted to cheer her up by saying, “well that’s okay, she’s in my class now!” Yeah, I know. Wrong comment, wrong time. I thought I was saying something positive, but I was unknowingly attempting to feed my own ego.
Six-Word Lessons for Autism Friendly Workplaces, Lesson #83: Being Blunt is Part of Autism.
I’ve gotten much more aware of others’ feelings over time though. I’ve made get-well cards for others who were sick, taken friends out to lunch when they were having a bad day, and donated to numerous causes and fundraisers. Now, I’m not saying this to sound better than anyone else, but to show how even somebody with autism has the potential to learn how to put others first.
It’s an acquired skill, it requires time, discipline, and practice for somebody on the spectrum to learn how to let go of their own pride to consider the well-being of another.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #93: They Don’t Feel Sharing is Caring.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #94: Relationships Are Not Always a Priority.
Probably the most instantly recognizable definition of autism is a noticeable delay in understanding social cues. So many on the spectrum naturally have a larger ego than others not on the spectrum. Their priorities land on themselves, because at a young age, the thought of helping those in need does not typically come as common sense. They have to be taught to think about how to willingly sacrifice their own comfort for others.
In the same way Batman must sacrifice his own safety every day when he fights crime, any good friend or relative gives something precious up for a loved one’s benefit. Most people may know to do this by simply listening to others, but for anybody on the autism spectrum, it requires a bit more effort. I learned that somebody with ASD can best learn how to put others first by getting out of the house and interacting with people.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #28: Everyone Needs to Be Socially Active.
This was a primary focus of mine in high school; I went to as many social gatherings as I had time for, and it paid off. The same thing can happen to you.
- Get your autistic child started at a young age interacting with other friends and relatives. Put them into the habit of spending more time with others than alone, but also allow them alone time to recover after spending up their social energy.
- Schedule meetings with a speech therapist to teach your child social cues. I had one when I was very young, and it helped tremendously in teaching me how to interact with others and respond to things that bothered me.
- If you are on the spectrum, don’t spend so much time cooped up in your room. Make sure you are balancing alone time with social time. The more you’re out with people, the smaller your ego will get, and the more respected you will become.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Warner Bros. Pictures. The LEGO Batman Movie – Extended TV Spot [HD]. Digital image. YouTube, 11 Dec 2016. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djlsDykmZ_c>.
LEGO Batman. WBEI and DC Comics. Web. <http://www.legobatman.com/>.