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The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

February 5, 2017 1 comment

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)For a kids film being shown in a complex filled with bars and starting at 21:45, this film actually had a surprising number of people in the sreening, that being more than just me.

The films plot is simple, Joker wants to be acknowledged by Batman and recruits some more villainous associates than his usual cohorts from the Batman source material. In this world Voldemort from Harry Potter, Sauron from The Lord of The Rings, King Kong, Godzilla and others are all in the Phantom Zone, a prison that Superman uses to house Zod. The Joker releases all the inmates and they take over Gotham, Batman teams up with Alfred, Robin and Barbra Gordon to stop the criminals and save Gotham.

The plot is not complex, but it is not expected to be. The film is based on Lego and comics, this is not high brow literature. What it is though is funny enough to keep you entertained. There are plenty of jokes and nods to comics and pop culture. Some of these are obvious, some more subtle and there are probably a whole host that need either an in depth knowledge of DC comics or multiple viewings to really appreciate.

The film pages homage to the many iterations of Batman in both modern media, the Christopher Nolan films, through to the Adam West TV show and beyond to the original Detective Comic No. 27. There are also a lot of fourth wall breaks during the film which mostly work.

The cast that have been assembled has a lot of talent and Will Arnett as Batman was fantastic. Ralph Fiennes as Alfred is equally outstanding, though why he does not also voice Voldemort, a character he has already played is a question I would like to know the answer to. Having reviewed the credits, the names that are filling in small roles are surprising, people like: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Mariah Carey, Billy Dee Williams.

While a lot of the casting choices were great Zach Galifianakis as the Joker left me wanting more. This could be because this is a role which has had some great people step into it, Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger both doing outstanding jobs as the nefarious clown, it could also be due to the way the character is written for the film.  

The visuals on the movie are great, the animation is smooth and flows well considering they are working with Lego bricks. Artistically it is very similar to the kind of ideas kids have, only translated to the big screen. The amount of Apple products in the film did seem odd, to the point where the computer assistant is voiced by Siri.  

The LEGO Batman Movie was a fun experience and one that could hold up with repeat viewings. Its a good film but not the best version of the cowled vigilante, then again, it never pretends to be with its glib comments and target audience.

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