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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Movie Review- The Lego Batman Movie

BvS is much better this second time around

"I deserve this today. Today I deserve it."

Will Arnett is one of those actors that I love to see more often. Similar to Jack Black (Goosebumps), he has an odd balance of works that are either worth a viewing (Arrested Development, Blades of Glory), or makes you question who's the moron he hired for an agent (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Let's Go to Prison). But at least he puts himself out there and keeps his name circulating through current pop culture. He's kinda like that cool, funny Uncle that you wish (or did have) you had as a kid, where he entertains you for the most part, but occasionally over stays his welcome (BoJack Horseman, Monsters vs. Aliens).

The Lego Batman Movie

But out of everything that Arnett has done so far, his perfect fit has to be his version of the Dark Knight, in Lego form! Even though those amateurs in the DC division of Warner Brothers keep failing at the live action editions of our favorite superheroes, their animation people somehow seem to keep pumping out a good, long-lasting product that keeps our interests strong. Arnett's casting is but one of the many elements that makes The Lego Batman Movie fun and pop-cuturally relevant. From all of the many variations that Batman has gone through, down to even the most questionable of villain choices (Condiment King), any fan should love the overkill of Gotham's protector's trivia. Similar to 2014's The Lego Movie, there of course, has to be, a moral subplot that tries to teach our kids something. This time, it's about Batman learning to embrace the people he cares about, instead of pushing them away. That would be cool for a couple of scenes, but the story gets slowed down big time because of it. We get it, he's alone and misses his parents. All is not wasted, because this movie is very funny and looks great. The fact that an eighty million dollar budget (compared to the average one-hundred and fifty million plus) animated film looks this good, shows that you don't need all of that extravagance to make a competitive film.

Arnett is so darned (kid's movie language) awesome as Batman, that it is easy to forget about many of the other voice talents as well. For me, the stand outs are from Michael Cera's Robin (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Ralph Fiennes's Alfred (Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit), comedian Doug Benson's Bane, and Jemaine Clement's Eye of Sauron (Moana). There are many others, however their lines were either short or they had little impact for me. The film's worst casting mistake, has to go to Zach Galifianakis' (Muppet's Most Wanted) portrayal of The Joker. Abandoning Joker's standard maniacal persona, Galifianakis sounds more like a obsessively disgruntled psychiatrist, than as the greatest enemy that Batman has ever known. That voice could've worked fine on somebody else, just not here.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of The Lego Batman Movie


The Good- The one-man villain dispatching machine, Lobster Thermidor alone time, the reliable Rope, Jerry Maguire: The Comedy, "Iron Man Sucks", Superman's party, and access denied into the Phantom Zone.

The Bad- Although the beginning's large action piece was funny and came off like a kid's fun time with toys, the third act's final battle was just a cluster of multiple fights and confusion. There wasn't much to recall about it other than it reminded me of the same problem that The Lego Movie's third act also had. But at least that one had a real-life Will Ferrell to change things up and break the fourth wall.

The Ugly- Eddie Izzard (Mystery Men), great. Voldemort, awesome. Eddie Izzard voicing Voldemort while the guy who portrayed him is starring in the same movie (Fiennes) but not voicing him as well, stupid!

Final Thoughts

The Lego Batman Movie is full of enough sarcastic humor and beautiful visuals for the entire family to enjoy. Go see this and then post your own opinions online about the animation being better than the live action versions, for the WB executives to see. Never mind, they still probably won't get it. It's hilariously sad that I take a Lego-ized impression of DC more seriously, than I do with its other attempts.
Rating- 7 out of 10


The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

PG | 1h 44min | Animation, Action, Adventure | 10 February 2017 (USA)

Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.

Director: Chris McKay
Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith (screenplay), Chris McKenna (screenplay)
Stars: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson 

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