A look at Lego’s take on the notoriously broody superhero
Movie: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Rating: 8 out of 10 popcorns
As a batman fan (I’ve been reading Batman comics since forever and boy did I enjoy the Dark Knight trilogy), the release of the Lego version of a batman movie really excited me. While the first-ever full-length Batman movie (1966’s Batman: The Movie directed by Leslie H. Martinson) falls under the comedy genre, the second Batman movie, the 1989 Batman (directed by Tim Burton) has successfully set up a dark and gritty Batman and prompted audiences to associate future Batman movies with ‘Dark’. Together with the success of the more recent Dark Knight trilogy that presented audiences with a dark and gritty interpretation of Batman as well, I honestly wondered if this comedic take of the DARK Knight would work and be well received by the audience.
What happens in the movie? (might contain some spoilers)
“Are you seriously saying there is nothing special about our relationship?” the Joker asks, incredulous.
“Batman doesn’t do ships,” the cowled crime-fighter growls. “As in relationships … You mean nothing to me. No one does.”
In The Lego Batman Movie, Batman appears a successful vigilante, celebrating his most recent victory in his fight against crime. Yet, his refusal to acknowledge Joker as his main adversary leaves Joker slighted and triggers Joker to plan a mass breakout from the Earth’s most secure prison, the Phantom Zone, unleashing the Lego universe’s greatest villains on Gotham. (including King Kong, Sauron from Lord of the Rings and Voldemort from Harry Potter to name some but a few)
First thing googled after watching the movie: Lego Batman sets
Remember how I “wondered if this comedic take of the DARK Knight would work”? Well, the answer to that question is a big YES! Staying true to the Lego movie series, The Lego Batman Movie is a movie that has jokes and gags so densely packed and rapidly fired at the audience that even if some of them went over your head, you never have to wait long for a laugh. The writers successfully capitalised on the rich and varied history of Batman to create a hilarious ‘parody’ of Batman and uses the appearance of lesser-known villains like Condiment King to garner some laughs from the audience.
While the characters appear blocky (they are, after all, lego characters), the animation ensures that these pieces of plastic toys are bursting with emotion and life (okay maybe except Batman, he’s probably eating his microwaved lobster thermidor alone somewhere while watching the telly), each displaying their unique charms. The locations are so intrinsically and spectacularly designed that I almost (Lego sets can be so so expensive) wanted to get the Lego sets and have my own Lego Batcave (that comes with a mini batman too).
“It must be great to be Batman,” a news commentator gushes. “I can only imagine he’s going home to party the night away.”
And he does.
Aside from all the laughter and action-packed scenes, the movie comes with an important lesson that children (and maybe the adults too) can learn: nobody, not even Batman, can do everything alone. The movie points out that friends and family are important and that teamwork is essential, especially when facing a growing army of villains (and not just any villains, the most powerful villains from numerous universes).
For a movie where every scene is imbued with various forms of jokes and allusions, where the characters constantly break the fourth wall, where there’s a positive takeaway in the end, I would say that this movie is a movie that most would enjoy watching and maybe learn something from (for children, that teamwork is important; and for adults, that one should not adopt an orphan absentmindedly unless you’re ready to take responsibility).