“The LEGO Batman Movie” is directed by Chris McKay and stars Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, and Zach Galifianakis. This movie takes place in the same universe as 2014’s “The LEGO Movie” but this is essentially a movie revolving around the character of Batman. In this movie, Batman is challenged to fight the crime coming towards Gotham City, facing his “greatest enemy,” The Joker, while at the same time, adapt to having an adopted son, or Robin.
When I saw “The LEGO Movie” back in 2014, I thought it was one of the best animations I ever witnessed. With that being said, that, along with other things, factored into this movie being one of my most anticipated films of the year, did I get what I want out of this movie? You betcha. This movie just proves how timeless Batman is. Sure, Batman may have had some bumps along the way, just look at “Batman & Robin” released back in 1997, but I love how this movie, much like 2014’s “The LEGO Movie,” focuses less on being a commercial for LEGO and more of an actual movie. This movie, to me, more than anything, is a kid friendly Batman movie. Is it too child-friendly? I’m not saying it is, but I’m saying that with animation factor, the humor, and the family dynamic, this movie is good for kids while also being incredibly entertaining for adults.
For characters, let’s start off with the most important character, Batman/Bruce Wayne. In this movie, Will Arnett plays the caped Crusader and for a movie like this, I cannot imagine anyone else playing this Batman, maybe Adam West, but I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. Will Arnett’s Batman very much reminds me of an interpretation of Batman I saw during a Nostalgia Critic episode. If you don’t know who the Nostalgia Critic is, the Nostalgia Critic, or Doug Walker, does extended reviews for movies that many people consider to be bad, along with movies that are new releases. One of his reviews was for “Man of Steel” and he does an intro song with Superman talking about himself and Batman comes in saying how similar he is to Superman and that he is essentially more awesome, like, in an egotistic way. It really works for the character and if you watch the movie and observe the first act, that makes Batman look like someone who always has the spotlight, and in certain instances, he comes off as someone who may as well even steal the spotlight from others. While this may make him come off as mean, it works so well for the character and makes him so likable. I don’t see any sort of possibility of gullible children being influenced by his behavior, especially with the family dynamic that helps move the story along.
Michael Cera is in this movie and he plays Robin/Dick Grayson. In the beginning of the movie, Michael Cera’s interpretation of Robin seems to make Robin look extremely enthusiastic. I thought it worked for his character and I was able to buy into the chemistry between him and Batman. And yes, he’s still occasionally treated like the less experienced sidekick you may already be familiar with.
Rosario Dawson plays Barbara Gordon in this movie, in the trailer of the film, she actually said that she wanted to “team up with Batman.” If you watch the movie, Barbara’s role is actually much more complicated. She does utter the recently mentioned quote at a point, but before that utterance even happens, there’s something else that adds to the movie in terms of complexity. I won’t go into detail, but it made the movie more interesting as it progressed over a period of time.
One of my favorite parts of the movie, besides Batman of course, is the Joker, played by Zach Galifianakis. What I love about this Joker is the insanely funny “relationship” between him and Batman. If you have ever picked up a Batman comic-book, played a Batman video game, or seen a Batman movie, there is a possibility that you know who The Joker is. Batman is fighting The Joker at the beginning of the film and The Joker says to Batman to fear his greatest enemy. If you know who The Joker is, you’d probably guess by now that The Joker is likely to be Batman’s greatest enemy. Turns out that Batman doesn’t consider The Joker to be his greatest enemy and after a moment, The Joker sheds a tear down his face. All in all, this kind of makes fun of their relationship, how many instances they fought each other, and this leads to this ongoing gag between them in which The Joker says Batman “needs” The Joker to keep him satisfied, if that’s not genius, I don’t know what is.
There are so many things I liked about this movie as a whole, I’m gonna attempt to keep this simple and not go too deep. You know how in last year’s hit R rated comic book movie, “Deadpool” the opening titles was likely to be one of the best parts of the movie? In this movie, it doesn’t exactly do what “Deadpool” did, but it did its own thing with Batman narrating over the studio titles of the film (Warner Bros, DC Comics, etc). It literally set the tone for the film and it got everybody revved up, including me.
Also, this movie is HILARIOUS. This movie proves that “The LEGO Movie” was not a fluke. Everyone behind this film KNOWS what they’re doing and they obviously have the writing, story, and actions in the films they make down to a science. The whole first act, just may be a good example to show certain screenwriters how to make movies funny, mostly animations and parodies.
One thing that this movie does much like “The LEGO Movie” is utilize references and bring in characters from other movies to move the story along. Some kids might not understand some of these references, but some of them they might pick up along the way. For example, Voldemort is in this film, so the kids might pick up on that if they’re Potterheads. Other references come from “Lord of the Rings,” “The Matrix,” “King Kong,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and even more! Essentially, the writers of the movie thought it would be a good idea to put in as many Warner Bros. related characters as possible so there would be so many references across the board. Believe it or not, it doesn’t feel overbloated. It actually works so well in the climax, which kind of reminded me of a lot of other recent big budget films like “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “The Avengers” because there always has to be something crucial in the movie pointing towards the sky for some reason. It’s not a BIG complaint, but it’s getting kind of repetitive. Despite that, I’d actually say it worked in this film, because it was actually done in a very unique way. Speaking of minor complaints, I mentioned recently that Voldemort is in this movie, but there’s one thing about that which happens to bother me. And that is that the guy who played Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” films managed to play Alfred in this film, and yet he couldn’t play Voldemort. I’m not sure many people are gonna care, but it would have been fascinating. I personally don’t mind just to clarify.
Speaking of references, this movie even makes fun of DC itself. One of my favorite parts of the movie is one moment when Batman is talking with Alfred and says Batman seems to be acting odder than usual. At one point Alfred says Batman has gone through identical phases in his past, specifically, it shows Batman going backwards in time through movies and TV shows he did, which I thought was hysterical. Also, there’s a point where they make fun of the Suicide Squad. Batman said it is a really dumb idea to get a bunch of criminals together to fight crime, which had the whole theater cracking up.
In the end, I’m really glad I saw “The LEGO Batman Movie.” Let me just say, if you don’t like animations, I still think you’ll like this film. If you don’t like Batman, I still think you’ll like this film. Also, I never thought I’d say this, but this may be the first phenomenal DC Comics movie of the 2010s. Sure, “The Dark Knight Rises” was pretty cool, but it wasn’t THAT great, and you probably already know how the rest of them are if you follow popular opinion. Also, I’m not counting the first LEGO movie as a DC film mainly because it features Batman and doesn’t star him. This movie has flaws, but these flaws, put together, are the size of an ant, with that being said, “The LEGO Batman Movie” is still good enough for me to give it my highest score, a 10/10! I honestly don’t know which movie I like better, this or the first LEGO movie, we’ll have to see if I can come up with a verdict in the future, until then, I can’t wait for this movie to come out on Blu-Ray and I hope to be adding this into my collection. Speaking of movies, I have intentions to see “John Wick: Chapter 2,” it is out right now, I have no clue yet on what day I’ll go see it, but it is on my radar. Maybe next weekend I’ll go see it, I don’t know, we’ll have to see what happens. Stay tuned for more reviews. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!