Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie
Voices of: Will Arnett, Michael Cera and Rosario Dawson

Rated: PG for rude humor and some action.
Reviewed by: Matt  
Release date: February 21, 2017 Released by: Warner Brothers

The Lego Batman Movie is the spin off film of the 2014 film The Lego Movie.  As the title suggests, the film focuses on Batman (Will Arnett) as he battles the villains of Gotham.  However, when the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) enacts his newest plan it is up to Batman as well as his newly adopted son/sidekick Robin (Michael Cera), his butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) and the new commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) to stop him.  

First and foremost this film is truly a tribute to all Batman films and series that came before it.  The amount of references to practically every live action film that has starred the cape crusader (including a very funny scene where Alfred lists off all the different years that Batman has gone through different "phases" of life.  The phases of course representing the different years of Batman portrayals starting as early as 2016s Batman from Batman vs Superman all the way back to Adam West's Batman in the 1960s).  Zach Galifianakis also does a stellar job portraying the Joker and while they don't necessarily make as many Joker-through-the-ages jokes he does stand out among the Joker's that came before him.  The relationship between Batman and the Joker is actually one of the main focuses of the film.  It is about one of the long time arguments about the two that there would be no Joker without Batman and no Batman without the Joker, and the way the film tackles it is extremely funny.  But of course Batman is the true standout of the film.  Much like in his original appearance in The Lego Movie, Batman is a very self centered, brooding person capable of doing pretty much anything mostly because "He is Batman".  This version of Batman is a deliberate parody of the character but it works so well because despite his many iterations this Batman acts the way everyone likes to portray him.  The film also contains many cameos in the film that would come as a surprise.  But without spoiling anything I will say that Warner Bros. certainly uses their and the Lego brands very effectively throughout the film.

If I were to make one complaint about the film it's that the jokes can get a bit stale at times, mostly because the entire movie is one big joke and therefore all the jokes in the film sort of hover around the same overall joke.  While this isn't a problem most of the time I will say it can start to feel a little repetitive when Batman continues to act like the way he does throughout the film.  Also, unlike the Lego Movie which I felt had a healthy assortment of jokes and gags, it felt like The Lego Batman Movie skewed towards a younger audience.

Overall, The Lego Batman film, while not quite as good as the film it was spun off from, certainly stands out as a very good film that not only is a good Lego movie, but also a very good Batman movie.  Batman fans will truly enjoy the film and will probably get the most out of it.  That being said I believe that this film will be difficult to be disliked by anyone and is definitely worth seeing.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Matt Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Lego Batman Movie  C      B+   C      B+            B- 

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