The LEGO Batman Movie (PG)

Featuring the voices of Will Arnett (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Michael Cera (Robin/Dick Grayson), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth) and a host of other celebs, animated action adventure The LEGO Batman Movie is quite an enjoyable tale.  The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) plans a hostile takeover of Gotham City and Batman is forced to put his supersized superhero ego aside and learn to work with others to stop him.

Seth Grahame-Smith (along with 5 others credited) did a great job writing an interesting screenplay for a movie that would be impossible to produce as a live action film.  It would be one big muddled mess and the exorbitant cost would kill it in its tracks.  In LEGO form, it is perfect.  LEGOs give the story the freedom to go all out with a genuine spirit of fun. You allow it to be super silly at times, because, “Hey!  It’s LEGOs!” Additionally, with LEGOs the concern over showing kids too much blood and gore, and pushing the rating up past PG doesn’t exist.

This is why this movie works. It’s as if you get more action and a more imagination for your dollar.  The movie has entertaining action sequences, and is peppered with lots of Batman trivia and references from Batman movies past, all the villains Batman has encountered throughout his illustrious 78 year career, and more.  This should please Batman lovers from all generations.

My largest complaint about this movie is that some of the music in the movie gave the movie too much of a “pop” feel. The movie was on one level creatively, and then switched gears with music that didn’t really fit in, in my opinion. It is understandable that Robin/Dick Grayson is at least one generation younger than Batman /Bruce Wayne and their musical tastes might differ, but I just didn’t care for the songs chosen to make the distinction.  In this way, it seems like the film was needlessly pandering to youth with this unnecessary infusion of popular culture that made The LEGO Batman Movie feel too much like any other of a number of animated films we’ve already seen.

The LEGO Batman Movie earned 7.5 out of 10 bloops. It’s a good movie worth seeing and certainly does no damage to the franchise.  It may be better than a couple of the live action movies.  Even if you’re not a fan, (who isn’t a fan of Batman – or silly animated cartoons – or LEGOs?!), you can sit through it with your children without wanting to hurt anyone, at the very least.  The LEGO Batman Movie is enjoyable, cute, funny, light and contains enough action to hold your interest. It is generally appropriate for the kiddies (although there was a “ninja” = “n word” reference that could have been left out that I didn’t care for.  At.  All.) and contains old school Batman references the older crowd will enjoy.  I watched it in 3D and I can’t say that the 3D added anything special to the movie, but I wasn’t with a child who is accustomed to all the bells and whistles either, so pay that extra money at your own discretion. The LEGO Batman Movie cost $80 million to make and is playing in 27 New York City theaters.  The box office of the movie will be just fine if you skip the 3D, I’m sure.

 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Upcoming:

  • A United Kindom – Based on a true story about the forbidden love between King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
  • Good Ole Boy – A family comedy starring absolutely no one whose name you would know. But it looks promising so I’m willing to give it a try.

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