Review: The LEGO Batman Movie Is One Of The Best Batman Movies Ever
Title: The LEGO Batman Movie
Director: Chris McKay
Summary: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
I can remember quite clearly where I was when I first saw the trailer for The LEGO Movie. I thought the same thing that I think that everyone else did; really? A movie out of LEGO? That’s what we’ve come to? It looked like an easy cash grab that wasn’t even trying, but when the actual movie came out it was one of the best animated movies ever. It was funny, memorable and had a lot more to say if you were willing to look beyond the jokes. When they announced a spinoff following Will Arnett’s popular version of Batman we all thought the same thing again; a blatant cash grab from a company emboldened by their hit.
The LEGO Batman Movie is just as good as the The LEGO Movie, with the added benefit of making fun of the biggest genre in the world right now.
If there is one thing that is apparent within the first ten minute of The LEGO Batman Movie is that this movie was made by people who have nothing but love and respect for not only Batman, but superheroes in general. There is a popular notion that to make fun of something you need to hate it but the best comedy is born out of love and not hate. There is nothing but love on display in this movie. There is no way anyone could make jokes like this if they didn’t love Batman, and the jokes are so spot on. The best part is that the humor isn’t just there for the kids, there are so many jokes for adult as well. A kid isn’t going to understand a joke about the Michael Keaton era of Batman but the adults will and it’s awesome.
The story is also quietly subversive thought not as much as The LEGO Movie. It’s still very meta when it comes down to what will happen if the Joker’s (Zach Galifianakis) plan goes through but it doesn’t crash through the 4th wall to the degree of the first one. Instead this is subversive in that it looks at Batman in a way that is new and different. While the live action movies embrace the grim and gritty Batman, this is a Batman who is dealing with the fact that he is lonely. The bulk of the movie is him accepting that he needs the likes of Robin (Michael Cera), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) and Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl (Rosario Dawson). That is something the live action movies have never really touched on, that Batman isn’t Batman without the Bat Family, but here it is as the central plot.
It’s about as perfect of an animated movie as we could ask for, but when it comes down to asking whether or not it’s better than The LEGO Movie that is a harder thing to quantify. The LEGO Movie is something special because it accomplished something that no one thought was possible and also has some amazing songs. However, The LEGO Batman Movie is packed with 9000 Easter Eggs and an attention to detail I haven’t seen outside of the deepest depths of a DC wikipedia page. One wouldn’t exist without the other, but as a comic fan I cannot deny the joy I got out of this Batman themed movie. The animation remains gorgeous even if it is impossible to pick one film over the other.
The LEGO Batman Movie might be the best Batman movie ever made. It takes the character in a different direction which is silly and fun and is something fanboys have been trying to will out of the comics for the last 20+ years. This is a movie that remembers that Batman is fun, he’s silly and we should he laughing more than we should be feeling sad for him.