Movie Review/Opinion: The Lego Batman Movie (2017) *Spoiler Free*

I've heard many people say The Lego Batman Movie is one of the best Batman movies you'll see. Better than 2016's Batman v Superman even. I tend to disagree.

I enjoyed Lego Batman. It's a fun movie and, is especially a great Batman movie for younger Bat fans (say eight years and younger) because it is fairly fast paced, with plenty to keep younger viewers engaged.

For older fans, all the nods  to Batman's 75 plus year history are fun inclusions that will have your remote's pause button working overtime when the film gets a home release.



It's funny, though not particularly laugh out loud funny for me, like The Lego Movie was. I'd speculate that Batman had funnier moments in that movie - hence the reason his movie is the first spin off from that film.

As a Batman film I'd put Lego Batman on the same level as Joel Schumacher's 1995, Batman Forever and 1997, Batman and Robin.

Before you go 'NO WAY, THOSE TWO MOVIES ARE THE WORST BATMAN MOVIES OF ALL TIME AND BAT NIPPLES!!'... let's have a reality check. Yes, they're not great films but they're not terrible either. Not if you put them in the context of appealing to younger Batman fans.

Batman and Robin has a lot in common with
The Lego Batman Movie.

Batman and Robin, in particular, is my go to movie for kids, six and under, who you want to introduce to Batman in the movies. Whilst it does have a few scarier moments for younger viewers, it's fast paced, with plenty of cool, over the top action and, most importantly, Batman is pretty much on screen straight away. Not only that, but you get Bat Girl and Poison Ivy in the mix, both played as relatively strong female characters. The brighter color palette of the film works better for younger audiences too.

The scripts for both Batman Forever and Batman and Robin aren't that deep and contain some really corny lines. Especially cringe worthy memorable is Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr Freeze. Just about everything he says is an ice pun, which, if I'm honest, is starting to become a highlight of the film. Arnold isn't bad in the film. He completely commits to the material and plays it up as much as Uma Thurman does with Poison Ivy.

I'm not trying to bring The Lego Batman Movie down, I'm just saying it has a lot in common with two widely criticized Batman films, that should get more appreciation in the wider pantheon of Batman films (which, by the way, both portray Batman/Bruce Wayne more accurately to the comics than the Lego Version).

Shumacher's films are deliberately over the top and fun. Where Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) were darker films, Joel was tasked with making Batman more fun. He did this by reminding everyone they were making a comic book movie, constantly. To his mind comics are all about fun.

Lego Batman raps in
his movie.
The Lego Batman Movie is as over the top as it gets. Every major and supporting character is a larger than life version of that character. Front and center is the most larger than life, over the top version of Batman ever put on screen. He's awesome, just ask him and he'll tell you how awesome. He's more over the top than Jim Carey's Riddler... and that's saying something.

Not unlike the Schumacher films, Lego Batman is filled with questionable plot holes, silly jokes and borderline nonsensical action. It's also guilty of suspending action, multiple times (like Spiderman 3 does), so that characters can have a moment swapping important dialogue. Most notably in one of the final scenes with Batman and Joker talking face to face whilst everything around them is literally falling apart. All that can wait until these two finish chatting right?

As a kids movie, Lego Batman is great fun. There's not as much here for adults to enjoy on an adult level, but your inner child will have plenty of fun. If you're a real Batman fan, you'll be delighted by the history nods. If you're able to comprehend the message of 'family is important' you'll probably roll your eyes at how that theme is crow-barred and hammered into the final act like they just remembered they were setting this up in the first act.

I enjoyed The Lego Batman Movie but I disagree it's one of the best Batman movies you'll see. One of the best children's Batman films maybe but, unlike Batman v Superman, I didn't leave the theater excited for the next installment. You won't be itching to see a Lego Harley Quinn movie, Lego Bat Girl movie or a Lego Justice League Movie. Lego Joker movie...? Yeah, sure. Why not? That would probably be fun right? Meh.

The original Lego Movie was innovative and stood out from much of Lego's straight to Home Video releases. Lego Batman didn't really bring anything new to the screen and plays like a longer Lego home video film but rendered in the Lego Movie style.

Everything being made out of Lego is almost incidental rather than essential to the plot. I could have been watching a Joel Schumacher, live action Batman movie, and it would've been slightly more awesome because of the leaps and bounds in realistic CGI effects we've had since 1997.

If we get a Lego Batman Movie sequel, or even just another Lego movie of any kind, I really hope they do something we've never seen before... like maybe Justice League v The Avengers. Could happen since Lego hold a license for both Marvel and DC characters and seem to have fewer stumbling blocks when it comes to mashing together different universes. I know I'd get excited for that!

In the meantime, here's what a JL v Avengers movie might look like...

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