Thursday, August 17, 2017

My Review of The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith & Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers & Jared Stern & John Whittington
Directed by Chris McKay

Batman (to Joker): "There is no "us." Batman and Joker are not a thing. I don't need you. I don't need anyone. You mean nothing to me. No one does."

After the more dark depiction of the Dark Knight in Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, it seems that Lego felt compelled to do their own spin-off on the Caped Crusader with a version that's more of a gently mocking commentary on the brooding hero than anything else.

Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman, living the high life in Gotham City, catching the bad guys and enjoying the admiration that comes with it but at the same time, he's a Batman that has some serious issues with letting people in. Even the poor Joker (Zach Galifianakis) finds himself being rather friend zoned by Batman and that results in something truly interesting.

As we all know, the Joker is a man who clamours attention and when Batman himself is too emotionally closed off to admit that the Clown Prince is his greatest enemy, the Joker's only choice is to surrender himself and virtually everyone else in the Rogues Gallery to new Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson).

Of course Batman suspects that something's afoot and along with his adopted son, Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera), he's soon breaking into the Fortress of Solitude, attempting to distract Superman (Channing Tatum) while his new protege steals a projector in order to send the baddies into the Phantom Zone.

However, what Batman didn't bargain on was the Joker actually wanting to go there in the first place where he manages to escape but not before bringing the likes of the Daleks, the Wicked Witch of the West, Sauron, Godzilla, King Kong, Agent Smith and Voldemort to name a few in order to destroy Gotham once and for all while invading Wayne Island and breaking into the Batcave. That moment led to a hilarious mistake as the Joker assumed that Batman and Bruce Wayne were roommates.

With the new set of baddies reigning chaos on Gotham City, this finally meant that Batman had to put his "working alone" mantra to one side as Barbara became Batgirl, Robin became useful and Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) was just generally awesome as the new team and the Rogues Gallery worked together in order to stop the Joker's latest scheme.

That said, the biggest theme of this movie was getting Batman to accept that he wasn't alone and while it took nearly the end of the movie for him to embrace having a new family as well as a best enemy, it was still a fun journey to see unfold. The moment where both Batman and Joker admitted to hating one another is without a doubt one of the funniest and touching moments we've seen in that 75+ year relationship.

- I loved the various nods to previous Batman movies during this one. I also liked how the likes of King Tut and Condiment King also appears along with the usual suspects. Oh and the Shark Repellent bit too was hilarious.
- Mariah Carey popped up for a few scenes as the Mayor of Gotham City.
- A Justice League party without the Batman - sacrilege!
- The musical numbers made me laugh, but points especially for Who's the (Bat) Man.

The Lego Batman Movie is an unbridled joy. Purely silly, purely heartfelt and extremely funny, I regret that I didn't see the movie in the cinemas during it's release but catching up with it now, I'm really glad this was a success too. It's easily one of the daftest Batman movies you'll ever see but also one of the best too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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