The LEGO Movie took me by surprise a couple of years ago. I expected nothing other than a couple of chuckle-worthy jokes from it, so I was amused by its phenomenal sense of humour, the brilliant social commentary and the meta chain of events it depicted. It was a great film, and it got ignored by the Academy, as it didn’t get a much deserved nomination for the Best Animated Picture category. By far my favourite character from that movie was Batman (quite unsurprisingly, as he is my favourite super hero of all time), so when I heard a spin-off about the dark knight was in the making, I was excited and terrified at the same time. What if it was just a cash-grab for the lovers of the bat? Fortunately, I freaking loved The LEGO Batman Movie! Why? Let’s find out!
Batman, voiced by Will Arnett, is a badass. He raps about himself, plays the most amazing guitar solos ever and does impressive back-flips. He is a millionaire, looks cool, and even fights bad guys. However, at the end of the day, he goes to sleep in the biggest, yet emptiest mansion known. When the Joker, Zach Galifianakis (yep, I had to Google how to spell his name), threatens Gotham City with his most dangerous plan to date, Batman will have to drop the “lone vigilante” role and find strength in family and friendship to stop him.
If there is one word that can define the whole movie, that is “hilarious”. I swear my cheeks hurt after the first thirty minutes of the movie! There are hundreds of jokes thrown into the movie, and every single one of them works greatly. Lots of them are cool absurd moments that take you by surprise, but the best puns are those that make fun of DC itself. Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman, The Dark Knight… Hell, it goes all the way back to the 1966 Batman movie! They laugh at everything they own the rights of and beyond, including Iron Man. It is an extremely self-aware film, and it will be a ludicrous experience for every fan of the character. In addition, without entering spoiler territory, many pop-culture characters can be found here too, which is awesome for cinema-geeks, of course.
Nevertheless, the humour could be one of the few problems I have with The LEGO Batman Movie, as it is so good it feels exhausting. Line after line, punchline after punchline, there is no time to relax, especially during the first third of the film. More than once I missed a joke because I was still laughing with the previous one. Is being “too awesome” a thing now? It seems so.
Another issue was the excessive ad-space this movie had. Way too many times does Batman use Siri or take selfies with a phone that’s obviously an iPhone. Luckily, those moments were pretty cleverly written so it doesn’t look like they were forced into the film just to showcase Apple products, but they could have been a bit more subtle…
One expects this kind of movie to boast great animation, but that doesn’t mean it is not magnificent. The use of LEGO pieces to create elements such as clouds or fire is visually interesting, and even if this time around, unlike in The LEGO Movie, they have used realistic looking water instead of lots of blue blocks, the effort put in everything else is more than enough to overcome that little issue. Once again, I really loved the little imperfections on the characters’ faces to make them look like actual toys: little scratches in the yellow plastic, slightly worn off stickers… It is stunning.
As a Batman geek, watching lots of characters from his universe has been an exhilarating experience. Lots of references to everything it has come before and an excellent sense of humour that will appeal to children and adults alike (I believe there wasn’t a single toilet-joke in the entire runtime, so congratulations to the team for that!). If there was one thing I didn’t expect from The LEGO Batman Movie was for it to be the most hilarious film I have ever watched. And for that alone, I can feel nothing but love for it. 9/10