» Blog Archive Review: Lego Batman Is Still Awesome -

Lega Batman 1I’m not even going to try and hide it: I had the most fun in The Lego Batman Movie than I’ve had in a DC movie since Man of Steel. Riding off the hype that was The Lego Movie, the Batman from that film makes his return in the fashion you would expect: narcissism abound and a meta sense of humor that would even make Deadpool jealous. Yes, Lego Batman is certainly going to be a hit, but it’s the fact that it’s better than all the DCEU films that should make everyone turn their heads in curiosity and astonishment if they haven’t already.

In Lego Batman’s Gotham, Batman (Will Arnett) is a superstar that everyone loves. His ego being as massive as his Batcave, Batman makes an explosive entrance into his film while squaring off against the grand majority of his most famous villains and (As the movie itself explains) many of his C-lister foes. Have you ever wanted to see Orca or Killer Moth or Condiment Man on screen? Well, here you go. Even with so many of his infamous rogues villains on display, it’s The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) who takes center stage at antagonizing the Bat, but never seems to get through his thick cowl and sending the film into one of its many plot points. While humorous and simple, the two’s relationship highlights only one of the many aspects of Batman’s long history.

Lego Batman 2Acting as a love letter, all the while poking fun at the Caped Crusader, Lego Batman knows how to make you laugh, especially for the Batman purist. It takes liberties with the mythos and lore of some characters, such as Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) and Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) along with the highly embellished Dark Knight, but it knows how to give the adults and fans a laugh while keeping the kids entertained by the bright colors and explosions. One such moment was almost predictable, but features Robin asking Bruce Wayne to adopt him. “My name is Richard Grayson, sir,” he stutters, “But everyone calls me Dick!” Without missing a beat, the ever-quick response that Bruce Wayne gives is “Wow, kids sure are cruel these days.”

It’s the quick, sure-fire humor that the movie dishes out that keeps the momentum going, even when the more predictable and basic of themes are getting put to the screen. The humor, much to my delight, is often very meta and breaks the fourth wall, or even acknowledges other Batman movies from his long history of comics and film. We’re talking back to the Lewis Wilson serial films, too, so it’s pretty thorough.  Nonchalantly, too, characters will recognize Batman and Joker’s lengthy lifespan and then continue on without so much as second-guessing it. Other jokes, such as referencing events from Tim Burton’s first Batman film or even The Dark Knight are worth a good laugh early on, even going as far to include a scene where Batman is watching the “You complete me” scene from Jerry Maguire, the same which The Joker so casually quoted in the highly praised Christopher Nolan film.

Lego Batman 3Substance may seem like the film’s strong suit, but rivaling that is the quality of the animation as well. If you’re not laughing at something, you’re often caught up in the fast-paced, highly stylistic and entertaining action sequences. Abiding by the rules set up in The Lego Movie but focusing heavily on being more of a Batman film, there’s some Lego-building moments, but not without plenty of sequences of Batman fighting off his enemies, often overly-exaggerated expressions thrown in or alongside throwbacks to the Adam West-era of the character. The animation is top-notch here, and while I hadn’t viewed it in 3D, it seems like there’s enough color and texture in it to justify the extra price.

While successful on nearly every front, the film’s third act is where things get a bit shaky and forced. While not going into detail, there’s certainly a lot of fun to be had and things start to get really interesting, but suffers from the writers attempting to dump all of the developmental material into the third act. It’s very hard to discuss without spoiling the film, but basically the film tries to get the theme spelled out for itself and wrap it up effectively in a very Lego-esque way, despite having proper set-up before.

Lego Batman 4From the opening credits, though,
The Lego Batman Movie was making it clear we were going to be getting something unique from the Caped Crusader. While laughing at Batman’s ridiculousness, the film honors nearly every single iteration of the character and does its best to include everything and everyone into its runtime. It does an excellent job, as well, and even though it starts to get a little clumsy in its third act, the process in which it undergoes to celebrate the idea of Batman is sure to make it an incredible experience. Fast, hilarious, and completely self-aware, this may not be the Batman movie we deserve but definitely the one we need right now.

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