This week I saw The Lego Batman Movie. Lego Batman was my favorite part of the Lego Movie and he’s my favorite Batman too. He’s so funny! I was a little worried about taking the comedic relief of an already funny movie and giving it a full feature film. Often that doesn’t turn out – just look at ‘Minions’. But The Lego Batman Movie turned out pretty good.
Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
The Lego Batman Movie’s strength came from how genre savvy it was. It knew every trope, every tradition, every cliche and it turned them all on their ears. The fourth wall was breached in the first sentence and it just kept going. This is harder than it sounds because while it made fun of all the conventions, it still had to progress through a plot and character development. On the surface it looked like a lot of fun, but there was a lot going on that made it all fit together. The dialogue and pacing were flawless.
Visually also, it may have looked easy but wasn’t. Lego figures are simple, they can only move so many ways, so to get body language and strong action scenes would be really tough. The Lego Batman movie looks amazing. It’s chock full of physical comedy and gorgeous shots and the colors (as you might expect) were dialled up to eleven. And it never felt like they broke the rules of the Lego Universe. Even the water and the fire seemed to be made up of blocks, when it got up close enough.
The universe in the Lego Movies is the perfect answer to my obsessive nitpicking over logistics. Sure/bombs/tectonic plates/adoption/clouds/computers/everything doesn’t work that way, but in the Lego Universe it can. This is a world that follows the rules of a child’s imagination and that’s really a lot of fun. It feels fresh and unrestrained, possibly because it doesn’t make a lot of logistical sense. I would catch myself getting worked up over things not making sense and then let it go, because it didn’t have to.
I wonder if The Lego Batman Movie will age well. Much as I loved it, it seems like it might not. Too many of the jokes feel like they are based on the current trends and genres that might not apply in a few years/decades. I might be wrong about this. There were a bunch of clever references to old movies that really worked. You didn’t have to have seen them to follow the plot, but if you recognised them then you got the joke.
So is The Lego Batman Movie worth watching? Yes. It’s completely family safe, not scary at all ( some of the kids around me seemed confused by the movie but that just might have been their natural state). And it’s funny, my goodness it’s funny. I liked this one better than The Lego Movie – there wasn’t the weirdness at the end (spoilers for The Lego Movie)