To begin with, it’s very much worth stating that there is a major difference between a motion picture that is referred to as a “film” and one that is referred to as a “movie.” Sure, technically and in theory they’re the same thing, but in reality the main difference is that one is meant to be a serious, mindful, intelligent, or otherwise artistic piece of cinema, and the other is just simply meant to be fun and entertaining. Sure, many motion pictures can do both, and sure, this is an over-simplified explanation, but for the purposes of trying to iullustrate this point, let’s just say that The Lego Batman Movie is just as advertised… not a film, but a movie.
As the title suggests, this is a movie about the Lego version of Batman created specifically for video games. If you were expecting a serious Batman, you will be sorely disappointed. If you were expecting a campy version of Batman somewhat akin to the 1960’s TV show caped crusader, well, you’ll also be disappointed. However, if you played the Lego Batman video game and are accustomed to the masked crime fighter they created, uhhhh, yeah, you’ll still be disappointed. Likewise, if you were just looking for some silly fun for the kids, you’ll definitely not be disappointed!
I’m not saying the movie is a complete disappointment, I’m just saying you should go into this like you’re watching an episode of Batman where everyone has been made stupid by the Scarecrow’s toxic gas or something. If you go in with this mindset, you’ll love it, or at least like it.
Will Arnett of the TMNT franchise (2014-2016) voices the Batman. His take of the Bat is a bit self-centered, lonely, egotistical, (yeah, I know, but it’s a lot more subtle in other movies) and he’s more than a bit obtuse. How else do you explain how he “accidentally” adopts Robin/Dick Grayson, who is voiced by Michael Cera (of Juno and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist). You’ve got to be a pretty dim lightbulb to not realize you’ve adopted a teenager.
As per usual with these Lego movies, they throw a lot at you in a tight space, I believe they even throw the kitchen sink in at one point. We have Rosario Dawson (of Iron Fist, Clerks II, and Sin City) as Bat Girl/Barbara Gordon, Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter franchise) as Alfred Pennyworth, and Zach Galifianakis (of The Hangover Trilogy and Birdman) plays the Joker. There is a whole host of others in there (seriously, Eddie Izzard plays Voldemort!) but I just don’t think I have room to place them in the review.
To lay it all out there for you, Joker and Batman have a bit of a falling out. Some harsh words were thrown at the Joker that made him question his relationship with the Bat and he has to come to a painful realization that the Bat doesn’t need him. There’s some real deep surface level emotions there, but you get the gist.
This falling out leads to a drastic act by the Joker to win back the Bat’s grudging respect and anti-affections (I don’t have serious words for this). As for the Bat, he must make some drastic changes in himself in order to battle what the Joker has in store for him.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, The Lego Batman Movie is what it is. Is it a great movie? No, not even close. Is it good enough to rent for the kids? Sure, mine loved it. I even had a few laughs myself. The point is, uh, well, there is no point. It wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be, and Arnett didn’t totally stink in it Ultimately, The Lego Batman Movie is just stupid fun for the kids and adults who like fart jokes. Period. And that’s okay… sometimes just simple, stupid fun is totally what you want, and if it is, this is exactly that. – 6.0/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine