I’m going to make a quick prediction before I get into this review. With the amount of intellectual properties Disney owns which has enabled them to have a monopoly over the film industry, it’s only logical that they now share that dominance with the people behind Lego films. List any franchise in popular culture, the chances are that Lego have some rights to it. If I were an executive at Warner Bros fuelled by financial gains, I’d been green-lighting every Lego film that came to my desk. The amount of crossover and standalone film possibilities are endless.
The Lego Batman Movie is a great example of this practice being put into action and while the film provides kid friendly entertainment, it does give of the message of Lego saying “look at all the stuff we have”. The Lego Batman Movie is only a batman film by name, there are a whole host of characters featured in this film and not all just superheroes and comic book villains but villains from other licenses that Lego own.
On to the caped crusader himself, Batman in this film is the image of Batman you have in your head as well as adding a few surprising character traits. the film does well on bringing out the collective popular image of each character in this film to capture the feeling of the creativity that can only come when playing with Lego. It depends on this image for most of its meta-humour and Batman references that are scattered throughout the narrative.
But this isn’t just a spin off that’s been made to make a ton of money from merchandising, it also has a funny and compelling story of Batman having the responsibility of family, caring for others and not being a self-centred character by thinking he has save Gotham all by himself.
The Lego Movie was the surprise of the year when it first came out and no-one expected it to be an incredible film, a portion of its success came down to its beautiful stop motion like animation and in The Lego Batman Movie, this animation is made all the more glorious. You expect for the quality of computer animation to have been improved on every time you see an animated film and the team at The Warner Animation Group have done a terrific job in making this film a great thrill ride from the moment it begins to the credits.
The comedy is on point in this film. It is a great film to watch having a chuckle, here was one part in the film where I had to contain myself because I almost laughed out loud in the cinema where other people could see me. The meta references are in abundance for those who get a chuckle out of it, but my only worry is that the meta humour does get a bit tiresome halfway through the film. The fact that the film relies on meta humour for its laughs, the danger is that the film has used this technique so much that it dangles dangerously on the border of a cliche. Nonetheless the film still retains a great sense of humour enjoyable for all ages.
Something I found quite disturbing about the film was that it tries to have its own short film before the main event. Knowing that Pixar also does this before it’s films, I found it odd that Warner Bros would want to do the same thing. Pixar shorts have a mixture of both heart and humour whereas Warner Bros decided to go with full out humour, and the repetitive nature of the short film itself left a strange impression before moving on The Lego Batman Movie which has the danger of altering the entire perspective of the film.
The character of Robin is the one character that isn’t exactly what you would expect. They only manage to make a small click with the audience by portraying him as an orphan that Batman accidentally adopts. Although Robin is the audience character, the one character in the film that is on the same page as the audience, his characteristics of neediness manage not only to become an annoyance to Batman but also to the audience. I’ll admit that as the film progresses he starts to become more like the Robin from the 1960’s TV series of batman, however the damage was already done in my books.
Nevertheless, in the end If you’re expecting a fun time with this film then a fun time is what you’ll receive, what Warner Bros has started is the beginnings of a potentially big money making method that manages to please audiences, it’s the perfect win-win formula. Yet, no critic, Hollywood executives or audiences have a crystal ball and no one will be able to tell if a string of Lego movies is what we’ll receive. Yet with the release of a Lego Ninjago trailer and the announced Lego Movie 2, expect the beginnings of a Lego universe being created brick by brick.
Final Result: 7/10 – Good
Have you seen The Lego Batman Movie? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: Hidden Figures