2017-02-16 / Columns

'Lego Batman' pours on the humor and won't lego

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Robin, voiced by Michael Cera, left, and Batman, voiced by Will Arnett, in a scene from "The LEGO Batman Movie." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Robin, voiced by Michael Cera, left, and Batman, voiced by Will Arnett, in a scene from "The LEGO Batman Movie." (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

I am Batman!

This is the theme throughout "Lego Batman," the constant cry of narcissism that is this version of Batman. A cry that came across less like the iconic growl of Christian Bale’s "I am Batman," and more "I am Bratman!"

"Lego Batman" sees big changes brewing in Gotham, leaving Batman (Will Arnett) to save the city from the Joker's (Zach Galifianakis) evil plans. In order to save the city, Batman will have to drop the lone vigilante/selfish act and try to work with others to save Gotham.

Plot lines make or break a movie, and many movies have trouble with this. Many movies have unclear plot lines. Even more often a film will have too many plot lines that can make the story convoluted or at the very least more complicated than is necessary.

"Lego Batman" is a kids movie first, and that is where they get the plot line right — by keeping it simple. It doesn’t get any simpler than “you cannot always go it alone, sometimes you need the help of friends.”

However, “friends” is also the downside of "Lego Batman." As in there are way too many "friends" in the movie as both Batman and The Joker amass large groups to fight each other. That is where the proverbial wheels fall off.

The second Lord Voldemort and Sauron were introduced, I lost interest. I enjoy both characters, they just have no place in a Batman movie. It might be the comic book nerd in me, but even though I love Daleks and their "Exterminate" chant, there is something off-putting about seeing it in a Batman movie, even a loosely based Batman movie like "Lego Batman."

All's not lost though, the best part of "Lego Batman" makes up for all its weaknesses and the strength of "Lego Batman" is its ability to engage with the adults watching the movie alongside their children.

At the theater I was in, the adults laughed more than children, and yet the children still loved the movie. I only remember the children laughing once at the "buttmobile" joke. This ability is the hallmark of a great children's movie, being able to make both the child and adult fall in love with the film.

"Lego Batman" uses ironic and satirical commentary better than I have seen in any film in some time. The ability to make fun of itself and the tropes that sometimes come along with the comic book characters and universes, all the while easily letting the adult viewer in on these jokes makes for a fun movie going experience that will keep you laughing.

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton "Paradise Lost"

For me it is the lesson Batman learns in "Lego Batman." Life is what you make it and it is often best made with friends. Now I rather enjoy ironic and satirical commentary, but my favorite literary device is iambic pentameter used particularly well by the aforementioned Milton.

In "Lego Batman," the lessons Batman learns in it are as good as a kids movie gets with a simple story for the kids and more sophisticated dialogue for the adults.

Aside from my personal preference in regards to "friends,” "Lego Batman" is the best children's movie I have seen in years and I would recommend it to everyone, so get up I say, get up and go out and see it.

Jason Guyer is an avid moviegoer and works in the Graphics Department at the Eagle Times. For questions or comments he can be emailed at guyerj@eagletimes.com



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