Movie Review: "The LEGO Batman Movie" (2017)
Did you hear the good news? There's a new Star Wars movie coming out, and no it's not the nerdy The Last Jedi. Who wants to see that, am I right? Nope, this one apparently will be the most recent brainchild of Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, the genius duo behind such cinematic masterpieces as: the Scary Movie series, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie etc., tentatively titled Star Worlds Episode XXXIVE=MC2: The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Who Went Rogue.
Now what does the abovementioned s***storm have to do with Lego Batman, you ask? Because The Lego Batman Movie did what those two could never hope to achieve: be funny, heartfelt, and passionate about the very thing you are making fun of. I'm certain Aaron and Jason are nice persons with many talents, but the hard cold truth is that they are known for the "death" of spoof movie as a genre. Whenever people think of spoof movies, their ungodly abominations immediately come to mind. In fact, it's almost impressive. Yeah! They singlehandedly killed a movie genre, what did you do with your afternoons?
But maybe we shouldn't be too hasty in pronouncing the time, maybe spoof movies aren't D-E-A-D, they simply evolved into another form of expression. It's as John Hammond taught us: life finds a way. Because as spoofs go, The Lego Batman Movie is as perfect as they come.
You remember The Lego Movie back in 2014, don't you? It was supposed to be a cheeky toy commercial compilation aimed at children. As it turned out, kids did enjoy it, but it was the reluctant adults who left with teary eyes. I'm sure a considerable amount of Legos were sold too. To this very day, people point their fingers at the Academy, for notoriously failing to nominate The Lego Movie for Best Animated Feature. It was one of the most pleasant surprises Hollywood ever delivered.
With The Lego Batman Movie, there is no longer an element of surprise. Nevertheless, surprised I still was, particularly at how profoundly and lovingly those guys understood the character of Batman. Sure, Batman was the secondary protagonist in The Lego Movie, but there wasn't a lot of, well, Dark-Knight-ing in that adventure, away from Gotham and everything Batman-related.
This movie delves into details of Batman's chosen lifestyle, and the repercussions it has on him and those close to him, or should I say, lack thereof. In fact, the central plot unravels upon Joker feeling "injured" by Batman, who, despite being his own arch nemesis, didn't consider him any special. Yep, you saw that in the trailer. You thought it was a passing joke, but oops, it's the core plotline. To exact his revenge on this unequal relationship, Joker decides to up his game, team up with the ultimate baddest villains, and...watch Gotham burn.
This is a movie that needs to be rewatched on Blu-ray, because, as is frequently forgotton with Lego projects, it has dazzling action scenes that scream to be paused to fully appreciate, because there are constantly a million things occupying the poor screen. Then again, that's to be expected. We saw plenty of Lego action in The Lego Movie, plus it has an $80 million budget. What exceeded expectations, is just how much emotion was conveyed through the wonder of Lego blocks.
On top of that, it was funny. Like, really, really, really, really funny. If someone were to do a headcount, there is probably one joke (verbal or non-verbal) per 2.5 seconds. You would be laughing from the very first second all the way through the company logos, don't ask me why. In fact, it may even work adversely for the film, especially towards the second half, that there might be simply "too" many jokes and "too" much awesomeness, causing sensory overload and relative numbness for certain audiences.
Inevitably, the movie is going to be heavily compared, superiorly by the way, to the struggling DCEU. It's no lie to claim that, as far as understanding your characters go, Lego Batman is leagues ahead of the team behind current live action outings. With the planned Batman solo feature starring Ben Affleck stuck in development hell in every sense of the phrase, at least we have our fair share of genuinely good DC cinema. And it's probably the best Batman film since 2008.
Just in case you are not into Batman (you soulless monster), the movie offers a humongous ensemble of characters not necessarily limited to the DC library. Without giving out any details, here's a hint of what to expect: you will be wondering why a certain voice actor isn't also voicing for another character, because that would make too much sense.
All in all, The Lego Batman Movie is family entertainment at its best. It's a total blast to watch with tons of hilarious jabs at Batman's (and DC's) eventful pop culture history, and its running time of 104 minutes simply zoom by. While it doesn't quite reach the emotional heights as its predecessor, it is a world constructed not just on Lego blocks, but also upon real, relatable and lovable characters. If The Lego Movie represented a love letter for our childhood memories, along with the creativity and imagination that came with that lost age, The Lego Batman Movie is a love letter for one of the best characters EVER created, along with his affluent legacy, and all superhero fans in general.
As movies about secretive billionaires with a dark side and a room full of naughty gadgets go, choose this one over....you know.
Final score: 8/10
P.S.: Just because the score is in bold font does not mean it should be taken too seriously. Peace.
P.P.S.: Batman raps, in case you needed another reason.