The Lego Batman Movie
Reviewed by Tony Keen 14-Mar-17
Chris McKay’s movie is a charming delight, and a very worthwhile investment of 100 minutes of your time.
After the success of 2014’s Lego Movie, in which Batman played a major role, and a series of direct-to-video Lego DC superhero movies, The Lego Batman Movie was almost inevitable. Fortunately, Chris McKay’s movie is also a charming delight, and a very worthwhile investment of 100 minutes of your time – indeed, better than anything yet released in the DC movie series begun with Man of Steel, better than anything we can reasonably expect from Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, and quite possibly the best superhero movie you’ll see this year, with the possible exception of Logan, which is, of course, a very different piece of work.
To go into too much detail of what happens in the screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Jared Stern & John Whittington would be to spoil a lot of the effect of the movie, which gets away with things you’d never imagine they’d be able to. The following spoiler-free observations will suffice.
Like The Lego Movie, Lego Batman exploits the medium – this isn’t just a Batman movie that happens to be done in Lego. The movie has a delightful affection for the entire Batman canon, in particular the 1966 Adam West TV and movie incarnation – in amongst Batman’s rogue’s gallery here are the likes of King Tut and Egghead, who were both created for the TV show, and have very rarely appeared anywhere else. That’s a very different Dick Grayson we get, in the annoying kid sidekick role Robin hasn’t really had since the 1950s. Barbara Gordon fans (of whom I am, of course, one) will be delighted at her role – more important than she’s ever been given in the past in any medium. Channing Tatum should do more Superman. And Ralph Fiennes should absolutely be in the live-action series as the sarcastic Frank Miller Alfred we all want (though he doesn’t quite play that here).
Of course, being a Hollywood animated movie aimed at kids, The Batman Lego Movie inevitably slips into sentimentality, especially towards the end. It is, of course, All About Family. But I’m prepared to tolerate that for a denouement that could only be done in a Lego movie. And for the Wonder Twins turning up at the JLA’s party.
Go see this.Tags: Batman, Chris McKay, Chris McKenna, DC, DC Entertainment, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington, Lego Batman, movie reviews, Seth Grahame-Smith, The Lego Batman Movie, Warner Animation Group