Now Playing: The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie

Rating: PG
Directed by: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Synopsis:

The same manic energy and self deprecating humor found in The Lego Movie sets its eyes on Batman, who learns that being a dark, gritty, handsome, badass super hero with impeccable abs doesn’t mean you have to be a loaner.  

The Good:

An unrelenting blast of fun!

The Bad:

If you’re wanting something deeper than self referential humor then look elsewhere.

What Else You Should be Watching:

The Lego Movie (duh)

The Gist:

I’m not sure if this is the Batman movie we need or the Batman movie we deserve but I don’t care because it was so.  Much.  FUN!  Sure, Batman has seemed to work best when he’s dark and gritty (hell, Batman Begins is what STARTED all of these dark and gritty reboots) but, back when the character was first created, it was just complete, over the top campiness.  This movie manages to embrace all of that heritage.  We get the immense gravitas of the newer installments  blended perfectly with the absurd C list rogues gallery from the 50’s and 60’s and, yes, even that damn shark repellent.

All of this at the SAME TIME!

What we’re left with is a movie that openly mocks itself while still embracing and honoring the core aspects of the character.  It does to Batman’s mythology what The Cabin in the Woods did to the entire horror genre.

cabin-in-the-woods

Exactly like this!  But with more Batman… and no mermaids…

And oh, my god, does this movie know its audience.  The Easter Eggs are EVERYWHERE!  I’m deeply upset that the manager working at the theater wouldn’t let me pause and dissect each and every frame of this movie. If you have ever enjoyed a piece of Batman media in the past EVER then there is something hidden for you to find.  Some of my favorites (out of the ones that I was quick enough to pick up on) were: Billy Dee Williams voicing Two Face, Blight and the Batman Beyond suit hanging out in the background and the Wonder Twins partying with their stupid monkey.

wonder-twins

Man, the 70’s were weird…

If you somehow managed to make it this far in your life without seeing anything remotely Batman related then have no fear, there are still plenty more pop culture references for you root around for.  Much like how the The Lego Movie was able to cross all kinds of barriers to show us Ninja Turtles, Abraham Lincoln and the 2002 NBA All Stars, we get nods to everything from Doctor Who to The Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings.  Hell, there’s even a wink to Pulp Fiction if you listen closely enough!

The entire run time is propelled by either over-the-top action or gut-busting hilarity.  And through it all you can tell that everyone who had a hand is this movie had an absolute blast making it.  The whole thing feels like one of those rare occasions where the movie was made by the exact same type of people who would love watching it, leaving us with pure, genuine fun.

That level of energy isn’t without its cons, though.  While I thoroughly enjoyed every second of screen time there wasn’t a whole lot of substance to be found.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s more nuance in Batman’s arc than an animated movie about plastic bricks has any right to have… but Batman is really the only character here that applies to.  Everyone else is put there as either the butt of a joke or to assist with Batman’s story.  That being said, this is one instance where I’m happy this was the case.  This movie isn’t concerned with trying to be something it’s not.  It’s fun. If you don’t like it then you can get the hell out.

batman-selfie

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Now that the gushing is over, there was one simply unforgivable sin that this movie is guilty of: there wasn’t a ‘cameo’of the Everything is Awesome song!  I was fully expecting to hear a snippet of it on the radio as someone was flipping through channels, but no. What a missed opportunity.

Aw, who am I kidding.  I cant stay mad at you, The Lego Batman Movie!

The Lego Batman Movie delivers the same amount of exuberant irreverentness that its predecessor brought to the table, this time tailored towards anyone who’s enjoyed any era of Batman material ever.  The fun doesn’t get bogged down by much character development aside from Batman, himself, but you’ll most likely be too busy rolling on the floor due to all the self referential/deprecating humor lovingly dumped throughout to care.

-R

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