As you may have read in my first Screening Suggestion for 'The LEGO Movie', LEGO has always pretty much been my favourite toy. Therefore, this is one of those reviews where I just give it points based on that. But the thing is, all the awesome LEGO animation isn't even the best part of the whole thing. In fact, it strangely almost becomes an afterthought.
We are given this whole new perspective on the bat. It's interesting because the Batman in the LEGO movie kinda opened the door of possibilities as he was a little more of an intense version of Batman. Unhinged, and talking like a modern dad trying to be cool, the character turned out to be so funny and so good that he quickly became several people's actual favourite incarnation of the character. This includes Morgan Freeman, by the way. Y'know, Lucious Fox from the Nolan movies?
Anyway, just listen to how clever this actually sounds for relatively original Batman idea. The story begins with the Joker and a whole team of Bat Bad guys ranging from The Riddler all the way to the Condiment King! They're all set to destroy Gotham, and as usual, Batman comes and saves the day. THIS time, however, he provides us with an admittedly pretty awesome music video while he beats everyone up. The entire opening sequence SHOULD be more than enough to pull you in.
After stopping everyone, Bats informs the Joker that he means nothing to him, ultimately hurting Joker's feelings so that he plans the ultimate revenge, which isn't short of the whole 'Arkham Asylum' idea, buut... I'll just say replace "Arkham Asylum" with "Phantom Zone".
Meanwhile, we see Batman seemingly relishing in his alone time, as, other than Alfred, Batman doesn't really have anyone to talk to. That is until he meets Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) who Alfred convinces to take under his wing. The results end up being pretty funny. Batman tells him what to do, and unlike Chris O'Donell's Robin, this one just kinda listens and executes. He wants nothing more than to impress Batman and prove himself. Thank GOD we didn't get stuck with a whiner character again! By the way, with that information, it makes Michael Cera voicing him a bit more humorous.
The overall end result of everything ends up being pretty predictable, admittedly, and nothing exactly NEW to what makes Batman Batman. But that's seriously okay. The thing about these LEGO movies is that they're entirely farcical. 'The LEGO Movie' has a whole whack of familiar characters from different series', childish sound effects, and the ending was pretty intriguing when you found out what you were essentially watching the whole time. This one is no exception. Without giving too much away, there are several characters from other series here as well. It lends itself to the fact that you shouldn't take a movie about toys TOO seriously, but seriously enough that there's some kind of message in the end to absorb.
But here's the thing about 'The LEGO Batman Movie'. As I read in a previous article, this movie has the freedom to drop all of the Batman story lines, and just have fun with what we know about the characters. That's pretty awesome when you think about it. There's no ties to this where fans are gonna say "oh, well they screwed this up, because in the comic book, this happens instead". It plays on character traits a bit more than Bat lore, but there's still enough Bat lore there.
The more I think about it, the more it intrigues me. Imagine, after all this time of seeing Batman movies go from good to bad to great to an animated variety of all, this is the FIRST TIME a Batman movie just threw it all out the window and said "let's just have Batman and the characters as we know and love them, simplify the story, and perhaps show a different angle". The fact that Batman is so meant-to-be dark REALLY lends itself to the overall humour in this, which is otherwise an animated comedy.
I get the impression that by the end of the year, this title will easily fall into my Top 10 of 2017. If you're a Batman fan, you should check it out. If you're a LEGO fan, you should check it out. This movie makes Batman much more fun than we're used to, and yet doesn't do a single thing to insult us fans. I absolutely loved it!