Movie #207 2020: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

You know what? I had high expectations for this movie. People tend to talk about it so fondly that I didn’t understand how they could possibly love an animated Lego movie so much. So let’s see if it warranted the hype.

There’s no need for me to introduce you to the characters here, as they’re all so iconic already. Of course, Batman (Will Arnett) takes the lead role, with Robin (Michael Cera), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) and new police chief Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) helping him along the way. We all know that the Joker is the Batman’s biggest, baddest rival, and this time it’s no different. After he and several other ‘bad guys’ escape Arkham Asylum, the Joker recruits villains from other franchises (Voldemort, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Eye of Sauron, to name just a few) to destroy the city of Gotham. You know what happens after that: Batman vows to save the land, as he always does.

How would I describe The Lego Batman Movie in a nutshell? Fun fun fun! Not only is it much less campy than I expected it to be, it’s simply hilarious. There are so many quips and one-liners within this, and they come at you by the dozen. Seriously, whilst mid-laugh, you’ll have another joke thrown at you and you’ll almost miss it. That’s how funny it is.

Will Arnett is the perfect choice for Batman; his comedic timing is always outstanding, and I love the goofiness he brings to a usually quite serious character. This piece of casting is so genius because… who the hell would have thought of choosing him as Batman?! Whilst we’re on fun casting choices, the legend himself, Ralph Fiennes plays Alfred. Sounds like a fairly obvious choice, right? Well, NOT WHEN ONE OF THE OTHER CHARACTERS IS LITERALLY LORD VOLDEMORT! I though it was particularly funny that they didn’t just get Fiennes to voice him too, and instead brought Eddie Izzard in to do the honours. If that’s not a meta joke within itself then what is?

On the topic of animation, I have no idea how in the hell they animate these Lego movies, but it’s really impressive when you see it in full swing. It could easily look clunky as if it was a child playing with it, yet ends up looking great. I’m sure kids love this movie, and I’m sure their parents can think of worse things to watch with them!

Overall the plot was a bit “meh” and really simple; it’s nothing really different to any other Batman/Joker match up we’ve seen before. However, the comedy makes up for it and it was particularly exciting to see all the different characters coming together. The villains were especially exciting, and the use of Agent Smith from The Matrix really made me laugh a lot.

Best sequence? Toward the beginning, there’s a montage of past Batman films and TV shows that really had me howling. It’s really cool to see a shout out back to where this whole thing came from, and if you can find the stills that represent each of Batman’s past incarnations, I strongly suggest you have a look. They’re hilarious even without any commentary.

As you’d expect, the soundtrack is amazing. Going in to this movie, you wouldn’t expect bangers from Rick Astley and Motley Crue appear, but they damn well do and it’s refreshing to hear those sort of songs in a ‘kids” movie.

To be quite honest, the movie kind of loses its way at times and it just didn’t suck me in as much as I wanted to. But it bears repeating: it’s so funny it doesn’t really matter.

The Lego Batman Movie is available to rent on Amazon for £3.49.

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