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.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, 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/>.