Thursday, February 9, 2017

Movie Review: The Lego Batman Movie

I loved the original The Lego Movie and Batman's appearance in it. So when I heard he was getting his own film, I was pretty excited (especially considering Batman's last two appearances on the big screen left me a bit disappointed).

The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 action, comedy, superhero film. It's rated PG and is appropriate for most audiences.

The Good

Humor. The humor was brilliant. The jokes were all so funny and original and covered such a broad spectrum of subjects and types of humor. Every single one worked.

References. This movie made more references than I thought possible to stick into two hours. It made references to every big screen appearance of Batman (including the original black & white serials from the 40s), the numerous TV appearances, and several classic comics. It included over two dozen Batman villains from the major players to the minor ones most people have probably never heard of. It also included references to other movies from Harry Potter to Gremlins to Iron Man. It also had references to music and other genres. I doubt anyone could catch all of them on the first or even second viewing. I can't believe the number of SuperFriends that made cameos.

Opening & Closing. This movie broke the fourth wall at the beginning and the end to make a comment on action movies, epic movies, and movies in general that was so funny and perfectly set the tone.

Action. The action does not disappoint. It was everything one could want from a Batman anything (movie, cartoon, comic). I can't see any live action movie even coming close to the level and fun the action in this movie achieved.

Visuals. This movie was gorgeous to look at from set design to costume design to character design. The colors, the lighting, the camera angles, and ever other visual was so well thought out and composed. I loved all the versions of the characters and settings the filmmakers used with the exception of Harley Quinn. They used the current comic book look which is one of my least favorite versions, but that's a personal matter of taste.

Music. This movie uses many different popular songs, well-known soundtracks, and a slew of original songs. The original songs were so fun and catchy. The popular songs were so well used. And the tracks from the original Superman movie was fun and a nice touch.

The Bad

Heavy-handed Moral. This story had a message underneath all the jokes that was literally spelled out several times in both words and images. You'd have to be brain dead not to have caught it the first time or the seventh time. It got annoying fast.

Robin. Robin was obnoxious from the lame character design to the poor characterization. He was obnoxious and kind of weird. With such likable characters, I'm shocked and saddened that they couldn't have done more with Robin. He's one of the best characters in the comics and cartoons. This was probably the worst version of him I've ever seen.

Prosaic Moral of the Story. The resolution to the emotional conflict was so prosaic and tired. For such a clever, original movie it felt out of place and kind of insulting. It wasn't enough to ruin the movie, but it did cause me to groan and shake my head.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I wish they hadn't beaten me over the head with the moral of the story. All the humor, the references, the jokes, etc. weren't heavy handed. So not only was it annoying, it was out of place.

I also would have enjoyed slowing down the action scenes a little more so I could have enjoyed all the characters and references. It was a little too frantic.


The Lego Batman Movie is a masterpiece. It was funny, it was clever, it was original, it included so many villains and other parts of Batman's world that we've grown to love. The action was exciting, the story solid, and the pop culture references brilliantly done. I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.


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