The Lego Batman Movie Review: A Hilarious Film That Turns Brilliantly Absurd
The Lego Batman Movie pulls no punches. It is crazy, it is bizarre, and it is hilarious. But more than that, The Lego Batman Movie is actually a good film that examines a side of Batman that all the live action films have mostly ignored thus far. Even though this film becomes absolutely insane towards the end, this is the most cohesive and well told DC story since Nolan’s departure. It does not reach the heights of The Lego Movie, but the script is so hysterical that the experience was still phenomenal.
Following the success of The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. followed up the surprise hit with a spin-off staring one of the best characters from that film: Will Arnett’s Batman. When I first learned this, I formed an idea of what I would want to see from The Lego Batman Movie, and until the end, I was served exactly what I asked for.
Will Arnett’s Batman is essentially Batman from HISHE, and this take on the character works remarkably well on the big screen. Wayne is an unstoppable, lonely narcissist and it works perfectly. Everything about Batman’s awesomeness is taken to the rhetorical extreme, something well exemplified by the song ‘Who’s The (Bat)Man’, and this promotional material released before the film’s premiere.
And just like its main character, the film is hilariously frenetic, and at times incredibly unhinged. The trailers do a great job of showing the overall tone and premise of the film, at least for the first two acts. The film opens with Batman foiling an attack on Gotham, and from the minute the film opens it is packed to the brim with humor and self-references.
The Lego Batman Movie does a fantastic job of ridiculing and respecting pre-existing Batman lore. Whether you are DC fan, Marvel fan, or both, you will be able to enjoy this film. In fact, even if you hate Batman I implore you to see this film. If you are a nerd of any kind, this film is one of the must-see movies of 2017.
This is the best spoof movie that has been released in years, and if you enjoy fourth wall breaks and pop-culture references, The Lego Batman Movie is the perfect film for you. And this film truly goes for the title of spoof movie towards the end. Without spoiling anything, I will say that the last forty minutes of this film are pure insanity that must be seen to be believed.
With so much going on, and with such energy, it is hard to believe that this film works at all. Even in the beginning, The Lego Batman Movie attempts to balance (approximately) the same number of storylines as Batman v. Superman. Since one of modern Hollywood’s great flaws is its inability to present a balanced narrative due to an abundance of plotlines, it is a miracle that The Lego Batman Movie is not a complete disaster.
Then why does this film work? As I was watching, and loving every second of the non-stop and ridiculous climax, I found myself contemplating why this production worked so well. As the film ended it hit me. The reason why this film is far more cohesive than Batman v. Superman or Suicide Squad is because everything it tied to a central theme, and it is one that had not been explored on film: Batman’s loneliness.
Most of the Batman films have focused on themes of justice, morality, honor, and death, but one of Batman’s most important internal problems, his solitude, has been largely ignored by the DC films. And while The Dark Knight Rises did explore it, The Lego Batman Movie, in my opinion, explored Batman’s isolation in a far more intelligent way.
For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I cannot completely explore that argument here, but I can say that the central theme is the reason why this film works.
Everything is connected to Bruce Wayne’s isolation from the outside world and his refusal to let others in. Even in the most absurd moments of the film, this theme is clearly echoed. Batman v. Superman on the other hand, had several different characters and plotlines, but many of them were not connected. Wayne’s first few interactions with Wonder Woman feel completely separate from the ongoing tension between the public and Superman. Because of this, Batman v. Superman felt extremely choppy and somewhat off to me.
The Lego Batman Movie really is how a DCEU film could be done right at the most fundamental level: it has several characters and several plotlines, but all of them connect to form a fantastic story.
My only problem with The Lego Batman Movie is not even a problem with the film itself. Rather, this film does not quite live up to The Lego Movie. While I wholeheartedly disagree with those who say that this film is more aimed towards children, as most of the jokes will go right over their heads, it doesn’t reach the emotional depth that its predecessor did. I cannot fault a film for not living up to a past installment, as that is not a flaw by itself, but I could not help notice the softer message present in this film compared to The Lego Movie.
With that said, there is enough humor, action, and heart to make this film a worthy viewing.