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Review: The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie
02.09.2017
7 10
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PLOT: When the independent Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) is appointed Gotham City’s new commissioner, the egotistical Batman’s (Will Arnett) place as a lone avenger is threatened, especially when the caped crusader inadvertently adopts a very eager orphan named Dick Grayson (Michael Cera).

REVIEW: When I heard Warner Bros., was doing a LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, the whole thing sounded like a cynical cash-grab, and a one-joke premise that couldn’t go very far. With the work of five writers going into it, led by PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES’s Seth Grahame-Smith, this could have easily gone awry, and while it does feel like a bunch of Batman comedy “bits” strung together, this amusing, anarchic LEGO comedy is bound to please both the kiddies that loved THE LEGO MOVIE, and straight-up BATMAN fans alike.

lego batman movie

What’s fun is how cleverly the film nods at the other Batman properties, with tons of references to the events of the original 1989 BATMAN (one character jokes that The Joker’s plan with the balloons and Prince music was stupid), as well as every other movie in the franchise (even the Adam West TV show gets a shout-out). That, in addition to a whole bunch of send-ups of WB’s biggest properties, especially when Zach Galifianakis's Joker puts together a super-villain all-star team from the Phantom Zone, make this very much in the spirit of director Chris McKay’s own “Robot Chicken” and a tasty idea of where these Lego spin-off franchises are going.

Everything about the Batman mythos is sent-up, with Arnett voicing the character in a way that sounds suspiciously like Michael Keaton (he even says “wanna get nuts?”), and the big-screen DCEU also gets gently mocked, with digs at SUICIDE SQUAD, especially when the Lego Killer Croc gets excited about actually accomplishing part of a plan.

lego batman movie robin

The only problem with all of this is that you kind of have to be a Batman fan to get it. Otherwise, you’ll be left scratching your heads. In that way it’s almost more geared towards adults than kiddies, although the ones at the evening screening I attended laughed thoroughly throughout, enjoying the bright colors and music. Part of me can’t help but think this was really made for their parents.

Still, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE occasionally goes awry. After a hilarious start, it gets a little bogged down from time-to-time in the A-story, with Arnett voicing him as a one-note jerk pretty much all the way through. He’s not terribly endearing, although Michael Cera’s Robin certainly is, with him in fine form opposite his old “Arrested: Development” co-star. At 100 minutes, the joke occasionally gets stale, and it overstays its welcome a bit, with one or two of the set-pieces seeming like they could have been dropped without changing things too much.

For the most part, LEGO BATMAN is tons of fun, and the voice casting is highly amusing, with Ralph Fiennes a fine Alfred Pennyworth in his own right, Zach Galifianakis as a sensitive Joker, and in a neat nod to Burton’s original, Billy Dee Williams in a cameo as Two-Face (let’s not forget he played Harvey Dent in the original). Channing Tatum is also pretty funny as Batman’s “frenemy” version of Superman. Through it all, Lorne Balfe’s score does an admirable job sending up Hans Zimmer’s contribution to the big-screen Batman.

Overall, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE works well, and is a good family winter treat that should rake in the dough. It's good for families, but fan-boys will eat this up too - a recipe that bodes well for the LEGO universe.

Source: JoBlo.com

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