THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

Directed by: – Chris Mckay

Produced by: – Dan lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Starring: – Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams , Zoe Kravitz, Jenny Slate,

Runtime: – 104 minutes (1hr 44mins)

Always Be Yourself… Unless You Can Be Batman

One of the sleeper hits of 2014 was without a doubt The LEGO Movie. At first glance, it just felt like the studios involved were making a massive product placement movie for the extremely popular toy line, but it was a lot more than that. It was an extremely funny and very well animated movie that managed to manipulate our emotions in a vein that rivals or sometimes surpasses Disney Pixar’s recent efforts. Not going deep into the movie one of the best aspects was Will Arnett’s gruff and humourous take on the caped crusader. Despite how the little screen time the character got compared to the film’s other stars he still did more than enough to leave a lasting impression on the audience. Since the movie came out and scored big in the box office, the brick version of Batman has made a name for himself through his appearances in straight-to-DVD movies, video games and numerous Lego play sets. Warner Bros. has finally decided to give this version of the Dark Knight the silver screen treatment.

Batman (Will Arnett) & Robin (Michael Cera)

Batman (Will Arnett) & Robin (Michael Cera)

Directed by Chris Mckay and written by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris Mckenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington, The Lego Batman Movie acts as a spin-off to the aforementioned LEGO Movie. Set three years after the events of The LEGO Movie, Batman (Will Arnett) has returned to Gotham City and continues to fight crime as beat boxing, rapping, gadget wielding, hilarious and awesome loner who repeatedly risks his well-being to save Gotham from its iconic gallery of rogue that includes Bane (Doug Benson), Two Face (Billy Dee Williams), Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate) and, of course, The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) amongst many others. But the Clown Prince of crime becomes infuriated in a skirmish because, Batman refuses to acknowledge the relationship the two share as arch nemesis despite their on going battles that have gone on for many decades.

He is awesome but very lonely.

He is awesome but very lonely.

Meanwhile back at the Bat’s home, the Wayne’s butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) worries that Bruce Wayne is way too focused on being The Bat as he doesn’t want to let anyone in his life. He tries to stop him from being a loner and encourages Bruce Wayne to become a father figure to a young orphan named Dick Grayson a.k.a Robin (Michael Cera) that he mistakenly adopts. He becomes the first member of a growing Bat family that eventually includes Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) the successor and daughter to commissioner Gordon who believes that Batman shouldn’t do things alone. Whilst all this family drama is going on in Bruce’s life, the Joker In a bid to get back at the caped crusader hatches an evil scheme to take over Gotham enlisting the help of some of the worlds greatest villains.

Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) instilling his wisdom.

Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) instilling his wisdom.

Directed, written and animated by the team that worked on the now classic Lego Movie and featuring an amazing cast that features the voices of Will Arnett, Michael Cera , Ralph Fiennes , Rosario Dawson and Zach Galifianakis , this comedy spin-off has all the pieces to build an extremely funny super-hero flick and one of the best Batman films since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) tries to help Batman.

Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) tries to help Batman.

PROS

  • From the minute the movies logo is shown and the film’s opening song is played the movie jokes come at the speed of a Gatling gun. The movie takes advantage of its LEGO theme to come up with extremely creative visual gags that will have you cracking your ribs from start to finish. The movie takes a leaf of Deadpool’s book as the movie breaks the fourth wall and sometimes makes jokes at the expense of the franchise many missteps across its 78-year history and the DC universe as a whole. The movie understands the essence of a good comedy, which in my opinion is producing a number of funny jokes that will make you laugh at a very consistent rate. From Batman’s obsession with his abs to calling out stupid elements from previous incarnations of the Dark Knight to his hatred of Superman to Bane doing an impression of Tom Hardy’s Bane and the weird ‘not romantic’ relationship between the Bat and the Joker, There is definitely a lot to laugh about in this movie.
  • One of the best things from the original LEGO film was its aesthetics. The movies stop-motion style was charming and its use of LEGO bricks to create impressive effects like explosions, water effects was awesome and unique which added to the film’s character. This spin-off doesn’t have the element of surprise this time round but it still manages to match its predecessors state-of-the art visuals and in certain cases surpass them thanks to its unique use of the colour orange and the fact it that makes the films setting dark, yet colourful and child-friendly. Its graphics also draws inspiration from all facets of the Batman franchise as the movie makes funny yet visually striking poke on classic Batman imagery that many will recognize from the many movie adaptations, TV shows and animated cartoons and comics. This movie is a feast for the eyes and it is highly recommended that you watch it in IMAX 3D.
  • One fear I had going into this movie was that Will Arnett interpretation of the Bat wouldn’t be able to hold the movie as his performance in the last movie was shown off in short scene stealing doses. This time round Arnett gets to stretch his vocal chords and cut loose in this solo movie, playing himself up as an egotistical loner who takes things to the extreme through his incessant need to drop bars, beat up foes and to push others people away from his life. These personality traits goes beyond being a piece of what makes the action and comedy set pieces hilarious but one that also builds an arc that touches on the LEGO caped crusader’s damaged psyche.
  • The movie’s supporting cast are also noteworthy as they add value to this movie. Michael Cera’s turn as Dick Grayson/Robin   works extremely well because of his comedic chemistry with Will Arnett that they built up during their time on Arrested Development. Cera’s interpretation of the boy wonder could have easily been annoying but his naivety and adoration of his Bat father figure is hilarious and even manages to give the audience a few cases of the feels which was unexpected. Ralph Fiennes and Rosario Dawson turn as Alfred and Barbara don’t leave much of an impact compared to Michael Cera but they still do a decent job thanks to their comedic timing. The Hangover alumni Zach Galifianakis performance of Joker is funny yet tame compared to the likes of Mark Hamill , Troy Baker, Kevin Michael Richardson and John DiMaggio who have all done great jobs voicing the clown .
  • The film has some impressive action set pieces that words cannot simply cannot describe and must be seen.
The Bat family on their way to save Gotham.

The Bat family on their way to save Gotham.

CONS

  • The LEGO Movie set up a comedy appropriate mechanics and mythology with the master building and inter-dimensional world travel plot points that helped moved the movies story forward. While they are present in The LEGO Batman Movie, it is not as prominent in this movie as it doesn’t take the time to explain it as it has already expected you to have seen its predecessor. While this doesn’t completely harm the experience, the movies story isn’t very original or intricate compared to the original LEGO film.
  • While I appreciate the movies gag-a-minute approach, you will miss some of them will fly over your head due to the fact you are still laughing from the previous one. Some of them don’t quite hit the mark and in some rare instances contradict each other. A Suicide Squad Joke that I won’t spoil exemplifies key example of this issue. With that said the movies hit and miss ratio still leans heavily on the hit side, so this point comes off as a nit-pick rather than a genuine criticism.
The movie is chuck full of hilarious DC universe references.

The movie is chuck full of hilarious DC universe references.

The LEGO Batman Movie is a visually impressive, smart and fast-paced action comedy that will have you chuckling from start to finish while paying its respect to Batman’s long history in the media. A must watch for kids and adults who liked The LEGO Movie and the Batman franchise.

 

RATING:- WORTH A WATCH 

Olisa Nwokedi
About The Author
- Olisa is an Aberystwyth University law graduate and Fordham University School of Law Masters graduate who was admitted into the Nigerian Bar in July 2016. He enjoys playing and watching rugby, writing, watching movies, playing video-games and Shark wrestling.......... that last part was fiction.