By Jeremy Say
Producer Dan Lin’s original The Lego Movie is a comedic masterpiece that’s hard to beat, but The Lego Batman Movie is definitely a worthy addition to the series, building up the franchise to new heights. Chris McKay, who directed Robot Chicken, did an excellent job with the movie, helmed by Will Arnett as the titular Batman. Heck, the whole crew and cast did an excellent job and it will be hard for me to criticize the movie in any way that is not nitpicky.
So yes, this is your typical lame story of Batman discovering himself and learning the importance of relationships and being a team player. And he best learn quickly, before The Joker’s scheme to takeover/destroy Gotham comes to fruition, also known as a typical Tuesday nights in Gotham City.
There are so many cameos and characters that deserve entire paragraphs to themselves, so much so that all I can say is have fun spotting them all. The main cast featuring Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Zach Galifianakis as The Joker, Michael Cera as Dick Grayson / Robin, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl, and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth was fun to watch and you get a real feel for the camaraderie between the voice actors, as the humor and sarcasm flies thick and fast. Also I need to add that the cast list is just bonkers, you have Conan O’Brien, Mariah Carey, and Seth Green just to name a few.
Even though the characters are stereotypical archetypes of their more-fleshed out comic counterparts, the movie’s cast and crew did an excellent job in keeping it entertaining. The amount of humour, over the top zaniness, and self awareness made me care more for these Lego characters than their (gritty) movie counterparts. Who doesn’t want Batman narrating the intro and outro, all the while poking fun of the movie and himself in a manner reminiscent of CinemaSins? With all the over the top characters (including side characters) having more emotions and personality than the characters from Suicide Squad, this ironically is DC’s best silver screen offering yet.
Visuals and Audio
The Lego aesthetic and pseudo stop-motion like animation is similar to the previous Lego Movie, with the choppy movements once again being used to great effect. The film is colourful with crisp designs and sets, filled with a smorgasbord of visual easter eggs, from past Bat vehicles and costumes to every well known villain in pop culture.
As for the music, also rich with clever references for fans of pop culture, all the cringy music has impeccable comedic timing. You even get beatboxing, rapping Batman – who, by the way, also does his own theme songs repeatedly throughout the movie for humorous effect, some of which is also done in hilarious heavy metal style.
Story-wise, like I mentioned earlier, you get a simple, fairly typical superhero story. One that even young kids can enjoy, but with enough depth, humour, and old timey references that the older audience will love this movie as well.
Every silly plot device, cringe and facepalming gag felt seamless with the movies’ tone and comedic style. This is a script that was not only well thought out, but executed almost flawlessly.
There are too many to discuss about every single one, but here is a simple list of what I could remember from the movie.
- A rip-roaring iscussion about Batman’s previous media appearances on screen, including the Adam West incarnation from the 60s.
- Mini Bat-history from Barbara Gordon.
- Mocking Adam West’s Batman, with the ‘useless’ Bat Shark Spray reference being the most overt.
- All versions of the Batsuit.
- References to the previous Batman film plots, two boats in The Dark Knight and parade with Prince music from Batman 1989.
- Making fun of the DCEU, especially the nod to how Superman is Batman’s greatest nemesis, Batman v Superman. Also, references to using villains to fight villains, aka Suicide Squad.
- “Iron Man sucks” as the Bat-cave password.
- Superman’s Fortress of Solitude doorbell
- JLA and there ‘57th’ Anniversary party (first appearance was 1960)
- Bat’s utility belt is a pocket dimension
- Blüdhaven reference to Nightwing
- Bat costumes
- DC villains, which include the obscure but real Calender Man, Egghead, and Condiment King
- Bane’s voice muffled like Tom Hardy’s voice in TDKR
- Susan Bennett as Batcomputer (credited as Siri)
- The Phantom Zone containing iconic villains from other franchises: Voldemort, King Kong, Dr. Who Daleks, Wicked Witch of the West, Tower of Sauron, Jaws, Jurassic Park’s T-Rex and Raptor, Gill-man, and Agent Smiths.
END OF SPOILERS
If there were any mistakes, of which there are a few to nitpick on, they were easily glossed over. This is a feel good, Easter Egg-ridden movie filled with good gags. I think everyone should watch the movie, even if you don’t like Batman or Legos. If you do happen to love either or both, you definitely need to infect others with your love. Batman, even in Lego format, should be something that should be passed down to the younger generations, intact. Unlike Transformers and TMNT – which Michael Bay did an ‘amazing’ job on, right? Also, in regards to the upcoming Power Rangers movie – you better not ruin another part of my childhood!
So in conclusion, I can’t wait for the next big Lego movie in the franchise, because so far, “Everything is Awesome!!!”. 10/10