Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Lego Batman Movie

Plot: Lego Batman is hopelessly self-absorbed and egotistical. New police commissioner Barbara Gordon tells Batman he isn't needed. Joker, who is also feeling unappreciated, gathers a band of villains from Lego sets like King Kong, Voldemort and Sauron to attack Gotham City.  Meanwhile young orphan Dick Grayson shows up at Wayne Manor. Batman, and Barbara learn that they must work with together to succeed.   [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Lego Batman is a clever & funny spoof of a superhero movie. From the opening credits, they are skewering superhero movie tropes like the solemn music, dark visuals, fancy gadgets and unlikely victories in fist-fights.

As the story spools out, it focuses on Batman's egotistical personality and how he needs to cooperate. This simple message is the most juvenile aspect of the movie. Much of humor goes over kid's heads especially the allusions to the other Batman movies and especially the 1966 TV show. With Batman's ego and superhero humor there is more than enough material for 104 minutes.

Director McKay said he wanted to make a film like Jerry McGuire, About a Boy and Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. "Movies that are about these people who are remote men, who aren't in touch emotionally and have got, maybe, a big pain in their heart, a big hurt that they fear going through the same kind of pain again. And having them overcome it."

I liked  2014's The  Lego Movie too. That movie was exploring new ground with the form, and it had modern American workplace theme. In that movie, I often thought about how unusual this Lego format is. I didn't think about the format during this movie at all. It was about the story, and it could have worked with another style like Claymation or more standard CGI animation.

All in all, Lego movie succeeds on its satire, simple redemption story, and humor. It is also fun-to-watch. 

Cast: Will Arnett and many other voice actors including Siri as the computer. 

Directed by:
Chris McKay

The Music:
Some catchy rock & roll songs in addition to standard orchestral music

The Visuals:
Great Lego-stylized animation

3.0 stars: Fun to watch

More: I liked that Siri was the voice of the computer. It sounded just right.

Even More: Lego Ninja  movie is coming in September.

Yet More: I saw Lego Batman on a plane when I was sleepy, and the opening sequence that I thought was so funny before just didn't work. Maybe I was too tired.


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