Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Movie was a film that I absolutely loved when it first came out and it has kept growing on me ever since, so much so that I would rate it as one of my favourite animated films. And who would have thought it, Lego!? So now they’ve spun off one of the characters, Batman, in his own solo film. Which means that nerds like me can have two slices of cake with this one!

There are three great things about The Lego Batman Movie; one is that it’s a great placeholder whilst we wait for the sequel to The Lego Movie. It keeps in tone with its predecessor, delivering a nice story with strong family themes and is filled to the brim with stupid yet very funny gags. And this one barely takes a moment to breathe with the jokes, they just keep on coming, it’s like Airplane! where there are jokes going on everywhere, this film is going to be rewarding when it comes out on DVD and you’ll be able to pause it and check out all the visual gags that have passed you by.

Two is that it’s a great critique and ribbing of the history and mythology of the character. You can tell there’s a lot of love for the character but at the same time they do not hold their punches when it comes to making fun of him. It’s pretty much a spoof movie of Batman in popular culture, making fun of his dark and brooding ways, his villains (including Superman) and his weird phase in the 60’s… Some of the jokes are made for avid comic book fans and general audiences will find that some of those might go straight over their heads. Chris McKay, the director and the everybody else involved clearly know the range of their audience very well.

Three is that it’s a good Batman story! Seriously, when this film starts it gathers some of Batman’s most notorious villains (and some of his not so well known) and has them take over Gotham City, with Batman the only one able to stop them. I can only imagine a live action Batman movie starting in that way, so for now I’m happy that I’ve been able to see the Lego version of that. Now I’m not saying that this is among some of the best Batman story’s out there, it’s probably one of the more family friendly ones but we’re not talking about the new The Dark Knight here. The voice cast is absolutely great as well, with the stand out for me being Michael Cera as Robin.

With this film, the Lego is more of an animation style rather than something that is part of the story, for the most part anyway. This isn’t a bad thing but because it’s shot like a film, it meant that at times it suffered from the Transformers effect, where the action on screen is very hard to follow because it’s literally blocks smashing against blocks. There are some very nice camerawork and angles involved but it sometimes suffered with pretty crazy action scenes.

It works as a Lego movie, it works as a Batman movie and it works as a spoof movie. That’s pretty good going, you’re going to have a fun time at the cinema if those three things flick your switch. There’s heart to it but personally I do wish they could have slowed down a bit more often to let it sink in because it never hits you the way The Lego Movie did. It’s a fun spin off but I do hope that future Lego films are able to capture the smartness, enjoyment and emotion of the original film more so than this one did. I’m rating The Lego Batman Movie a 3.5/5. Good geeky fun.

What did you think of the film? Better that The Lego Movie or worse? Let me know in the comments below?

Thanks for reading!

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