There is going to be a common trend with these next couple of reviews: I did not like the trailers for any of these. Some of them may have surprised me, while others did not, keep reading to find out. I quite enjoyed The Lego Movie, but when they announced a Batman-centric spinoff I was reluctant to get too excited. He was great in that film, but I did not know whether that version of Batman could carry an entire film. However, I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed the film.
I like to fight around
Right off the bat (bat pun), this is an incredibly enjoyable film. The jokes are quick and most of them land. The ones that do not are more directed towards children, so they get a pass. I love the small jokes that the side characters have. They are not relevant to the plot, but I found them absolutely hysterical. There was a joke about Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons and how they will let you use them past their expiration date. I am a fan of those types of jokes, where it may not have much to do with the plot, but they are random and relevant to our own lives. Batman himself is really funny throughout, even though occasionally he may have been a bit too over the top. What I was really surprised by was how much depth this film gave him as a character.
He is absolutely full of himself, but he is deeply flawed and broken. He fears caring for someone else, whether it be friend or foe. The film takes us through his evolution from someone who distances himself from others to someone who not only relies on others for help, but is not afraid to care for someone other than himself. Whenever the film was dealing with such moments I found myself getting quite emotional about it, which is certainly a major plus for the film. As much as I like The Lego Movie, I was never emotionally invested in it. Sure it is a fun film, but the characters themselves did not evoke much of an emotional response from me (except laughter of course). I love the fact that this film decided to explore the flawed side of Batman and not only use it for comedy, but for some emotional moments as well.
All important movies start with a black screen
Along with a great central character of Batman the side characters are pretty enjoyable as well. I love all the little Lego cameos throughout, plus the way they handled Joker in this was really great too. He has a lot of motivation and a surprising amount of heart (not unlike Batman). The voice cast is also top notch. Will Arnett does a great job at the gravely Batman and another standout is actually Michael Cera as Robin. As far as the plot of the film, I am relatively torn. On the one hand there are some great and interesting aspects to the plot. On the other hand, when you break it down it follows some of the same beats as The Lego Movie. These similarities are most evident in the third act where the villain wreaks havoc on the city and puts our hero’s in a touch spot.
The difference here is the characterizations of our main characters, which ultimately makes the plot more engaging. Another gripe of mine, that is completely a personal preference is Batman’s excessive rapping. It was funny at first, but the joke overstays its welcome. I know the film is for children, so I am sure they will enjoy it, I just got tired of it.
Overall this is a very fun and satisfying film. It is not perfect but it is deeply enjoyable with a great cast of characters. Hopefully these Lego films keep up this momentum with the upcoming animated releases.