MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
“The LEGO Batman Movie” is directed by Chris McKay, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, and stars Will Arnett (Batman), Michael Cera (Robin), Rosaria Dawson (Barbra Gordon), and Zach Galifianakis (The Joker). It was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Feb. 10, 2017.
The story revolves around an evil scheme created by The Joker to get Batman’s attention and prove to him that they are indeed great enemies. Along the way, Batman (Bruce Wayne) adopts young Dick Grayson and lets him become his sidekick. He learns to befriend and work with newly-minted police commissioner, Barbra Gordon, and eventually gains a new family while learning to loosen up.
The movie includes shock value. In a cinematic superhero universe, where we all know Captain America will never die and Superman will always come back to life, it’s refreshing to watch a big-time superhero adventure that defies expectations: the Joker turning himself in.
Continuing with the metaphysical angle, it’s relaxing to see a good movie based on DC characters in the theater. It’s been a while. A long while depending on how snobby you want to be about “Man of Steel”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, or “Watchmen” (I won’t count “Batman v Superman: Ultimate Edition” because it was only released in select theaters for one day).
It’s also great to see such a DC-centric story and attitude on display. The ridiculous number of Batman villains and the scene with Superman’s Fortress of Solitude are the best examples.
For a “kids” movie, there’s some pretty mature stuff going on in this film. Even if it’s mostly played for comedic effect, it has one of the more in-depth looks into the psyche of Batman, and the arrogant, quasi-fascist tendencies that almost all superheroes inadvertently fall victim to. An example of this is when Batman forces his own adopted son to steal Superman’s Phantom-Zone Projector so that they can break into Arkham Asylum and teleport a willfully-imprisoned Joker to a harsher prison. All because Batman said so, and he’s the boss.
There are also emotional moments. Family is a major theme in this movie. It came close to hitting me straight in the feels when Phyllis, the gatekeeper, showed Batman all the times his arrogance and selfishness caused others harm. Anybody who cares about their father will get the feels when Batman finally accepts Robin calling him “Padré”.“The LEGO Batman Movie” has some flaws, but they are so small.
I give the movie an 8 out of 10, which is a B- for you letter junkies. Stay tuned to the “same Bat-Channel, same Bat-Time” for another movie review; and remember, the password to the Bat Cave will always be “Iron Man Sucks”.