"The Lego Batman Movie" is a spin-off of sorts to 2014’s "The Lego Movie" and revolves around the titular Batman once again saving Gotham City from a colorful rogues gallery of villains, led by The Joker.
I was a fan of "The Lego Movie," so I expected I would at least like "The Lego Batman Movie," but from the very first scene I was floored.
The animation which, yes, is CG, looks truly beautiful. In most instances, you’d swear every single Lego brick was real. What enhances this further is that everything in the film is made from existing Lego pieces.
The animation itself is so intricate and fast in execution that watching it transcends being merely impressive. It is inspiring in stills, and mesmerizing in motion – truly a monumental feat. Couple that with the action itself, which is very fast and well-choreographed. The fight scenes are so detailed and complex it can be overwhelming in parts.
But gorgeous animation only goes so far, it’s who is being animated that’s important.
First of all is, of course, our hero, Batman. This movie goes deeper into his character than, surprisingly, any Batman film before it.
To the public, he is courageous and generous, saving the city routinely and never ceasing to help.
If you had a conversation with him however, it would be quite apparent that this Batman is the most arrogant, ignorant and shallow of people. He is always writing songs about himself, and bragging that he is better than Superman.
This attitude creates some problems for Batman near the beginning of the film, when, after having to choose between beating the Joker at last, or saving Gotham City, he chooses the latter, but not before telling the Joker he means nothing to him, which really hurts his feelings.
The Joker is portrayed as being maniacal as ever, but he really needs his hero-villain relationship with Batman in order to function.
Batman meets Barbara Gordon, the new police commissioner of Gotham City, a headstrong and determined person who is eager to work with him despite one slight problem: Batman works alone.
After saving the city but letting the Joker escape once again, we see just how sad Batman’s life really is. All he does is eat lobster and watch romance movies. After his butler, Alfred, notices our arrogant hero staring longingly at a picture of his deceased parents, Batman is informed that Richard Greyson, an orphan he accidentally adopted while he was distracted by Barbara earlier, is ready to meet his new dad.
Forced to accept someone in his life, Batman must learn to work together with his new son, and Barbara, if he wants to continue stopping crime.
Greyson is a young but eager and overly enthusiastic Batman fan who doesn’t know what having a family is like, similar to his new but reluctant father. However unlike Batman, this orphan tries to keep people in his life instead of just pushing them away.
The film analyzes Batman in a sophisticated way, which is all well and good, but it is a comedy, and the humor is what should carry it.
The jokes start right at the opening credits and, aside from a lull around the half-way point, they never stop, which might seem a little hard to follow, but it really isn’t. It’s very creative and interesting humor that makes fun of Batman and DC Comics films in a way that, while funny for someone my age, will probably be lost on younger viewers. Strangely enough, there is an alarming number of Michael Jackson references here too, which is an ... interesting choice for a Batman movie.
A constant theme in confrontations between Batman and the Joker is how they express their need for each other (in a hero-and-villain sort of way) as if they are in a relationship, which I thought was a particularly good idea, as it gives Batman and The Joker a more legitimate reason for constantly fighting, since they "need" each other.
It should be noted that because of the nature of this comedy, you have to pay close attention to the dialogue, which can be difficult considering almost every line is a joke. But regardless, they all land proficiently.
Taking everything into account, you really can’t go wrong with "The Lego Batman Movie." The animation is breathtaking, the characters surprisingly complex, the humor is clever, engaging and unceasing and the heavily exaggerated Batman is portrayed perfectly. I feel confident saying "The Lego Batman" movie is one film you’ll be greatly impressed by, and is doubtlessly one of the caped crusader’s greatest on-screen outings.
Quinn Zack is a sophomore at Hamburg High School.