Saturday, February 11, 2017

Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

LEGO takes another step into animated movies with one of Warner Bros. most popular properties. Batman (Will Arnett) is the crime-fighting, cape crusader, but in a cocky, narcissistic billionaire form. He's just defeated the evil plan of his nemesis Joker (Zach Galifianakis) but goes home to a lonely house where the only company is his butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). When he attends a party for the naming of the new commissioner Barabara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), he accidently agrees to adopt the orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera). 

The Joker has come upon an even more diabolical plan by freeing every supervillain from the phantom zone. The Warner Bros. bench of franchises can really be explored in this film as it draws characters from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Godzilla, and Wizard of Oz. Batman's self-centered nature causes the primary amount of trouble as he continues to try and solve problems because he lacks any other sort of fulfillment in life. 

With the help of Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate), Joker frees the awful villain and takes over Gotham city centering his headquarters at Wayne Manor on Wayne Island. The action is interesting to watch but some viewers can't help but wonder how much better a live-action film could be. The strength of this film and the LEGO series is the humor, which is great both lambasting Batman, studio blockbusters, and rich billionaires. The film has the freedom to play with other properties and explore the DC comics universe.

The movie primarily works for Batman focusing on his villains ranging from popular ones like Scarecrow and Bane to fan favorites like Clayface and Killer Croc and even including some ridiculous ones like the Condiment King and an Orca. The jokes come non-stop and the humor is witty and fun to watch. The relentless humor never gets tiring but the story about Batman's loneliness often slows down the pace and feels too much like an overt lesson. The message doesn't take away too much, it is just the lowest point of an incredibly entertaining film that requires a message as a children's cartoon.

Warner Bros. has established an animated series with this group of films as evidenced by the new Ninjago film advertised. The LEGO Batman movie combines the most popular superhero with this cartoon film to build upon the success of the LEGo movie. The humor and ability to not take itself so seriously give it a flexibility and allow it to make any joke without crossing into an area that draws eye-rolling. I am a fan of the LEGO film and look forward to what they have to offer in the future. 

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