Saturday, March 4, 2017

Movie Review: The Lego Batman Movie: Will Arnett is the Second best Batman

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 After seeing John Wick I thought no movie could top off my good mood. But then along came a narcissistic man child dressed up like a bat, yep Lego Batman is honestly one of the most fun movies I've been to in a really long time. If you're an observant Batman fan you will be grinning ear to ear from all the callbacks, references and even dressing down of the various incarnations of Batman in popular mainstream culture. From the "grittiness" and super cereal tone of the Nolan trilogy and Batman v Superman to the homages to classic Batman covers like Dark Knight Returns but done in Lego, they even splice in an actual clip from the Adam West Batman. (Which sad to say is about as far as we'll get as an actual cameo from Adam himself.) Most of the time I was watching this movie it felt like a 2 hour Robot Chicken sketch that just kept getting funnier as it went on.

 But I'm getting ahead of myself we actually start off with Will Arnett's Batman beating an army of his villains all at once set to a heavy metal lyrical cover of the Adam West theme song. Which leads to him breaking the heart of Zack Gallafanakis' Joker to the point that he finally cracks and plans to just turn himself and the rest of the bad guys in so that Gotham has no need for Batman anymore. Meanwhile a young Dick Greyson played by Michael Cera manages to get adopted by Bruce Wayne while he was distracted by the new Gotham Police commissioner Barbra Gordon played by Rosario Dawson who announced a plan to have Batman collaborate with the GCPD for reasons of accountability. Being unconvinced by the Joker Batman decides to steal Superman's Phantom Zone gun and send the Joker to the Phantom Zone for good. That's where I'll stop as far as plot is concerned for I will never consider spoiling what happens next because that would be far more evil and super duper bad then anything Joker ever does in this movie.

 I knew that as soon as the opening credits opened I was in for a funny lighthearted treat with Batman talking and making meta jokes about all the opening super serious movie tropes. From there the references and jokes just keep coming at you and I was chuckling all throughout the movie. But this movie does remember the emotional core of Batman's character, a boy who died and was reborn as an agent of vengeance, though much more subtly implied in this movie. This movie also remembers that Batman needs the more lighthearted goofy elements of his mythos to balance out the dark backstory by grounding him in reality. In short without some f-ing sunshine Batman is just an angry teenager who can't get over his parents death and compensates by being prideful, grumpy and listening to angry music all day in his man cave.

 Speaking of family, Alfred does what he does best, put up with the well meaning but goofy Batman by encouraging him to get out and talk to people once in a while, have Batman put on his big boy Bruce Wayne clothes and join the real world. This then leads us to Dick Greyson, Jesus Robin in this movie is just the most wide eyed adorable little cinnamon bun and easily the best role I've seen Micheal Cera in since Scott Pilgrim. Honestly this is the Robin we need more of, a bright fun happy ball of sunshine to contrast against grumpy Bat padre. Barbra Gordon is also wonderfully brought to life, and in this incarnation seems to be about the same age as Bruce which definitely makes more sense then what happened when DC did an animated adaptation of THAT story!
You know what I mean.
 Aside from that she was another good way to challenge Bats' loner tendencies since she can not only kick as much butt as him she could also tell the goon when he's gone too far and was being crazy. Also yes they do make fun of the "Batgirl" name and I'm not telling how.

 Speaking of significant others Joker in this movie is just the perfect bromance for Batman. I mean the relationship between Joker and Batman has been explored before and in various ways but I don't think ever this silly. While I was watching the first time I was just resisting myself from quoting Tristan from Yugioh abridged.
 Though of course since there were little kids around of course I couldn't; even though I heard one flat out admit he got the joke Bruce made when he heard Dick's name, that moment and that kids reaction was worth the price of admission alone. I wish I could go on about what I loved about Lego Batman other then; go see it, bring your kids or your nieces, nephews, grandkids whatever just make sure you see this movie before the year is over. Trust me it gets my personal pick for favorite Batman movie. Ok second best still have to give it up for the Dark Knight but it's still really really good.

Yugioh is owned by Konami, Kazuki Takahashi, Toei Animation, Shonen Jump and Viz Media. (#FucKonami)
The Lego Batman Movie is owned by DC Comics, Warner Animation Group, DC Entertainment, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Lego System A/S, Vertigo Entertainment, Animal Logic and Lord Miller Productions.
Batman The Killing Joke is owned by DC Comic, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland.