Film: The Lego Batman Movie
Director: Chris Mckay
Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes
Genre: Action-Comedy, Fantasy, Animated
Let’s get this straight.
Any film that has the Caped Crusader aka Batman in it has some impossible expectations to deliver upon.
Why you ask? Well for starters, he is arguably the most bad-ass character from the entire DC Comics roster (It’s a mighty big one too!) and almost every man has dreamt of donning that famous cowl and fighting crime at some stage of their adolescent life (for others who didn’t grow up, the dream remains).
And after The Lego Movie (2014) surprised many and set the bar very high for future instalments of the brick-toy’s future feature length commercials (Let’s be honest, The Lego Movies are brilliant commercials at the end of it), The Lego Batman Movie somehow manages to raise it.
We are introduced to the Dark Knight (Will Arnett) as he packs off the latest mass breakout from Arkham Asylum, masterminded by his ‘arch-nemesis’ the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), without breaking a sweat. While the Clown Prince of Crime escapes, Gotham raises a toast to their hero for finally clearing the streets, after 80-plus years of (read: self depreciating humour) toil with scant reward.
Does Gotham City need the Batman with all the super-powered crazies locked up?
And, more importantly, what will Bruce Wayne do with all the spare time at his hands? For sure as hell, he hasn't contemplated life post-crime fighting.
With an impossibly-peppy Robin (Michael Cera) for company, the least-liked member of the Justice League (An awkward situation with them is arguably the funniest scene in the film!) sets about setting the record straight about his lone-ranger attitude. His relationship with undoubtably his most famous side-kick Richard Grayson aka Dick is among the highlights of the film, as the dark, brooding hero finds balance in life when a fellow orphan jumps along for the ride.
Make no mistake, despite the obvious facade of bravado, Bruce Wayne is a lonely man (An extremely wealthy but also lonely man). Who, despite having all the Lobster Thermidor’s in the world, keeps himself busy by fine-tuning his expensive gadgets and working out the kinks in his perfectly-chiseled body.
With plenty of subtle (and some not so-subtle) tributes to the previous Batman films (Yes, even the disasters!), The Lego Batman Movie has plenty going for it. Not least the Batman-Joker dynamic which is given a rib-tickling new dimension while carefully keeping in place the old. The Joker just wants Bats to admit he is his arch-enemy, not Superman (Yes, we go there as well!) and will bring cataclysm to Gotham to prove it.
And as wizards-who-must-not-be-named and giant gorillas turn the crime-riddled city into Mordor, we are treated to an over-the-top final act as the Dark Knight comes in his matte-black armour to save the day.
The Lego Batman Movie is a silly take on the most grim superhero out there and its attempt to caricaturise the Caped Crusader turns into a two-hour laugh-a-thon, with plenty of highs among very few lows.
Calling all dads to take a fun jaunt back to your childhood days and enjoy a film as much as your young ‘uns will, ala Hakuna Matata style.