Gotham’s saviour, Batman, can triumph against villains galore, but his greatest battle is keeping his distance from those who care about him.
I must confess that I never “got” the Lego versions of things. I can understand sets of Lego bricks themed to various trademarked franchises, but computer games and videos? Come on!
But on reflection, Lego versions in the audiovisual word enable a property to be treated with humour and a degree of disrespect without denting the original, because the Lego-ising imparts a distance and otherness which enables (in this case) Batman to be presented as a character who is recognisably derived from his comic-book original, yet has foibles and quirks which present scope for much humour.
This is a funny film. The gags come thick and fast from start to finish. If you are a super-hero fan, there is much for you here. A DC fan? Even more. A Batman fan? Non-stop gags based on any and all iterations of Batman and his supporting cast, from his 1939 origin to date, and running through all screen versions, too – I was tickled to see the 1943 Lewis Wilson Batman serial referenced in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. The rewards here for knowledgeable comic fans are huge.
So it’s a shame that I have to add a couple of criticisms. The voice casting is absolutely stellar – just look at the voice cast! – but, while I loved Will Arnett’s Batman and Ralph Fiennes’ Alfred, neither Michael Cera’s Robin nor Zach Galifianakis’ Joker worked for me at all.
Worse than this, and a criticism I also felt applied to this film’s predecessor The Lego Movie, is that so much of the action is so frenetic that it is really difficult to follow what’s going on in front of you. The filmmakers write and storyboard and, because they know in advance what is in a particular sequences, that’s what they see, without realising that the viewer might not follow it that easily.
I think I must also say that while this is ostensibly a kid’s film, there is much here which will soar over their heads – Batman’s Batcave password being “Iron Man Sucks” being just an example!
This is seriously good fun, nonetheless