The Lego Batman Movie Review

legobatmanmovie

With the exception of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, I think we can all agree that dark Batman doesn’t work. Just like DC Comics stalwart Superman, I much prefer a lighter take on the character. Who doesn’t love the sixties charm of Adam West for example? When it comes to cartoons I think you’ll concur that Brave and the Bold is more fun than the grittier The Batman, which ran from 2004 to 2008. If you want a good laugh comedian Joel Schumacher has you covered with Batman & Robin – a hilarious parody featuring ice puns, costumes that have nipples and George Clooney flashing a Bat Credit Card. Now that Christian Bale has retired the cowl the time is rife for the Caped Crusader’s return to comedy, cue The Lego Batman Movie.

OVERVIEW

Set in a Gotham City, constructed out of plastic bricks rather than concrete, The Lego Batman Movie follows the exploits of a Dark Knight voiced by Will Arnett. After losing his family at a young age, Batman has become an anti-social vigilante who prefers to fight crime on his lonesome. Not that he needs help from anyone though. The film’s opening scene has him effortlessly defeating an entire rogue’s gallery of villains all by himself. Whilst singing along to a musical ditty, Batman is able to vanquish a group whose ranks include Catwoman, Bane, Riddler and obscure lackeys such as the Condiment King. Life is good for Bats. At night he basks in the glory of being a hero whilst during the day he relaxes by dining on microwave Lobster Thermidor and watching cheesy rom-coms.

The daily routine of Bruce Wayne is however shattered when he accidently adopts an orphan named Dick Grayson. Reluctantly, Batman is forced into mentoring the enthusiastic dork who eventually assumes the mantle of Robin. Even worse for Batman is that he finds himself with nothing to do after Gotham’s entire criminal population surrender to the custody of new police commissioner Barbara Gordon. Suspicious that the Joker may be plotting something from behind bars, Batman breaks into Arkham Prison with the intentions of exiling his rival to the Phantom Zone. Sending the clown prince of crime to another dimension, where he can do no harm, sounds like a grand plan… but the scheme spectacularly backfires, unleashing a terror that Batman alone cannot handle.

VERDICT

My rating for The Lego Batman Movie is three and a half stars. I dreaded reviewing this film because, despite finding it enjoyable, I didn’t love the flick to the extent that everyone else does. Instead of being a movie that everyone can enjoy, Lego Batman felt like a children’s film filled with gags that also pander to older comic book geeks. In that regard I have to say that I have seen funnier Lego animations on YouTube. Perhaps I would have liked the movie more had it been less heavy handed with its moral about the importance of friends and family. That sort of thing doesn’t resonate with a reclusive introvert like me, especially when I am the sort of person who prefers watching blockbusters alone in the comfort of my home rather than in a cinema packed with noisy kids.

One good thing Lego Batman does is handle its large cast of villains well. Unlike X-Men 3, which was ruined by an oversaturation of baddies, I have to say that the extensive list of evildoer cameos worked. Not content with featuring virtually every Batman criminal in existence, the movie even includes antagonists from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Dr Who. The comedy is gold, resulting in 105 minutes of fun. Social justice warriors may disagree though. Theoretically they should detest Barbara Gordon being cast as an ebony girl. If not they are hypocrites because they previously loathed race changes in Dr Strange. In a similar vein critics of The Killing Joke may disapprove of Batman’s attraction to Barbara, because they have voiced displeasure about that ship in the past.

There isn’t any real romance between the two though. If anything the only sexual chemistry I spotted was between Batman and the Joker. During their exchanges if you substitute the word “hate” with “love” you have all the trimmings of a gay relationship. Holy fabulous couples Batman! Don’t be surprised if conservative Catholics begin to boycott Danish toys for covertly promoting same sex propaganda.

26 thoughts on “The Lego Batman Movie Review

  1. I’d give it the same rating, mostly due to it being a pseudo sequel. The original LEGO was a surprise hit so I had high hopes for this movie. And while I laughed alot, I did find that it moved too quick and felt a sort of lacking.

    Also, I do hope yaoi fangirls don’t run with that Batman/Joker stuff. I have to deal with that crap enough with anime. XD

  2. Dark Batman doesn’t work. How DARE you Sir! I know what you mean, though, In the comics, it works well but somehow usually loses something in translation. Where I always feel Batman doesn’t work is when they put him in a sci-fi setting (JLA, Alien invasion storylines and so on), although the Batman vs Predator comics did a good job of making a liar out of me on that one too!

      • Yeah, Batman usually works best when he’s on street-level. He feels rather out of place in the cosmic level matters. Like he loses something by being put in the larger DC universe.

    • No matter how flashy Batman’s gadgets are he shouldn’t be able to do much versus aliens that give Superman trouble. I agree he works best battling Gotham based crime. In the Justice League Dark movie he didn’t really fit with all the other magical heroes.

  3. I don’t necessarily agree that a “dark” Batman doesn’t work. I think that Batman is such a strong character that he can work in a range of tones. Whereas a dark and moody Superman just feels off.

    I don’t love the Adam West end of the spectrum, but also didn’t care for Affleck’s dour interpretation either. My favorite version is the Batman: The Animated Series. It’s the right balance of seriousness but Batman doesn’t feel constantly tortured either.

    Batman is basically a tragic character coping with a personal trauma. I think a dark tone is totally appropriate. He’s trying to make up for the death of his parents and going about it in this crazy way. But his complete dedication and focus shows what human will is capable of.

    Sometimes that means hanging criminals off of rooftops. Sometimes that means doing the Bat-Dance!

    • The animated series Batman is my favorite rendition of the character too. Adam West’s Caped Crusader is probably too silly for modern audiences, but I have a soft spot for that show because I watched it as a kid.

  4. I don’t watch too many batman films or films in general. I constantly saw adverts for this and I have to admit that it looked oddly appealing. Looking at batman’s story, I’d find it interesting to see how a lighthearted twist would work out.

  5. While I’m not on the “DC should drop the DCEU and just make a Lego DC Cinematic Universe” bandwagon I wouldn’t mind more Lego DC Superhero movies like this one. It was delightful from start to finish.

  6. Great review! As an introvert myself, I find all these “friends and family” themes very offensive. It’s hard to believe we’re still dealing with this discrimination in today’s society.

    Even in cute Lego form, Batman is still badass! 🙂

    • Most humans are social creatures so anyone who likes alone time is branded as unfriendly. If you are not an introvert it can be tough to understand how some people finding interacting with others to be draining.

      Lego Batman is badass. Wish these toys existed when I was a kid. I wonder what they will come up with next. Lego Final Fantasy perhaps?

  7. Thanks for your informative review! I was thinking about watching this, but now I’m wondering if I should just wait for the movie to come out on Blu-ray or streaming platforms. Though I enjoyed the Lego movie, it seems like those who would get the most out of the movie are big Batman fans.

    • Don’t let my lukewarm assessment dissuade you from checking out the movie, because lots of other people have liked it. I do agree that those acquainted with Batman lore will get the most out of the film as there are numerous references to past movies, the comics and the the old TV series. That said there are plenty of gags that non-Batman fans will get.

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