The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Batman : Not Just Mindless Entertainment
Movie Review by Sreedevi Jayarajan (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The story is set in a toy universe with Gotham city, and all its citizens (including its masked vigilante and our villain – the Joker) created entirely out of Lego pieces. Despite this, the plot is in a way a satire on the genre of superhero films.
The storyline is simple. The Joker (the villain) wants Batman to acknowledge the Joker’s significance in his life. Instead, this is what Batman says to him – “Batman doesn’t do ships. As in relationships. You mean nothing to me. No one does.” As revenge, the Joker unleashes the most dangerous villains from the Phantom Zone – a prison in space – to destroy Gotham. Batman, his (Bruce Wayne’s) accidentally adopted son Dick Grayson aka Robin, the new Commissioner Barbara Gordon (daughter of Jim Gordon) and the ever faithful Alfred form a team to fight the bad guys. The rest of the story involves Batman realizing that he definitely wants to do ships in his life.
Director Chris McKay takes a dig at various elements of the original Batman films, including Batman himself. The film begins with a parody-like sequence of clips from the original series that serve to remind Batman of the different problems he’s landed himself in the past. The usual seriousness associated with a Batman film is completely turned on its head by the colorful Lego superheroes and villains; action packed sequences and songs. Even so, there is a different kind of darkness in the toy universe, with fights, violence, and fire depicted in a non-gory manner.
However, the Lego Batman is not in the least bit inferior to Nolan’s Batman. He has his fair share of fears and imperfections which he conveys to the audience with deadpan humor, making him a treat to watch. Will Arnett’s brilliant husky voice brings the Lego Batman to life, making it an experience for the audience. However, while in Nolan’s films Batman was fighting evil, the Lego movie focuses on him battling his own biggest fears; no they are not snake clowns as he claims twice in the films.
The Joker – a mad and unpredictable supervillain – is reduced to a whiny clown who makes some poignant remarks about relationships, superheroes and the depiction of villains in commercial cinema. He is desperate for validation from Batman, making him the catalyst for a crazy sequence of events that unfold over the course of the movie. The much loved Zack Galifianakis gives voice to the Joker, making him a strangely lovable character.
Barbara Gordon, voiced by Rosario Dawson, and Dick Grayson with his chirpiness lighten up the mood with their infectious energy. Grayson, who with the help of Batman has turned into Robin, is a crucial agent of change in Batman’s journey towards overcoming his fear of developing relationships. The films depicts the father-son relationship in a humorous manner.
With the storyline largely revolving around themes of love, family, and friendship, The Lego Batman can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. Most importantly, it’s a treat for fanboys. From Lord Voldemort to the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz, villains from across the fictional universe come together, making it an extremely enjoyable watch.