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The Lego Batman Movie

USA 2017
produced by
Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Will Allegra (executive), Matthew Ashton (executive), Bradford Lewis (executive), Benjamin Melniker (executive), Steven Mnuchin (executive), Zareh Nalbandian (executive), Michael E. Uslan (executive), Jill Wilfert (executive) for DC Comics, RatPac Entertainment, LEGO, Lin Pictures, Lord Miller, Vertigo Entertainment/Warner Brothers
directed by Chris McKay
starring the voices of Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O'Brien, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Hector Elizondo, Mariah Carey, Lauren White, David Burrows, Laura Kightlinger, Brent Musburger, Ralph Garman, Chris Hardwick, Todd Hansen, Chris McKay, Abel Arnett, Archie Arnett, Charlie Bean, Marco Campagno, Garret Elkins, Ryan Halprin, Alison Ingram, Holly Isaacson, Kelly Lafferty, Doug Nicholas, Samantha Nisenboim, Chris Paluszek, Wendell Stephens, Vanara Taing, Matt Town, Bram Tulloch, John Venzon, Matt Villa
story by Seth Grahame-Smith, screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington, Batman created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Superman created by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, music by Lorne Balfe, animation by Animal Logic

animation
Lego, Batman, Lego Batman, Robin, Joker, Harley Quinn, Superman, Batgirl, Scarecrow, Riddler, Bane, Two Face, Catwoman, Clayface, Penguin, King Kong, Daleks, Gremlins, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Justice League

review by
Mike Haberfelner





Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) foils yet another ridiculously complicated supercrime by the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), but he really breaks the Joker when he tells him that their relationship was never anything special to him. So at the next big occasion that pretty much cries out for a Joker crime, when Commissioner Gordon (Hector Elizondo) retires and hands over the city to his daughter and successor Barbara (Rosario Dawson), the Joker shows up to give himself up to Barbara - and presents her with Batman entire rogue gallery as a result - all but Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate), who somehow manages to make a getaway. Now this leaves Batman with very little to do, so he hangs out around Arkham Asylum, where all his baddies are kept, to see if something transpires - much to the dismay of Barbara, whose crimefighting strategy doesn't rely on vigilantism. Eventually, Batman comes up with the idea to shoot the Joker to Superman's (Channing Tatum) Phantom Zone, where he's convinced the Joker can't do any harm. But to do that he has to break into Superman's Fortress of Solitude to steal the Phantom Zone teleporter gun, something he's just not nimble enough for. Fortunately, he has only recently accidently adopted a boy, Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), whom his butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) reminds him of only now, and he's perfect for the job. So Batman hands him a random superhero outfit - and they're off to the Fortress ... where Superman has a big Justice League party he hasn't invited Batman to. An awkward situation of course, but it helps for Dick to get the gun undetected. At Arkham Asylum, Batman and Dick fight through a ton of guards to get to the Joker, and they send him to the Phantom Zone, but they are incarcerated themselves, and somehow Harley Quinn, disguised as a nurse, gets the teleportation gun from Batman to get back not  only the Joker, but an entirely new rogue gallery, including King Kong (Seth Green), the Gremlins, Sauron (Jermaine Clement) from Lord of the Rings, Voldemort (Eddie Izzard) from Harry Potter, and the Daleks from Doctor Who. Seeing how these creatures take over the city - including Wayne Manor and the Batcave -, Barbara sees herself forced to free Batman and Dick, for them to free Gotham as a team. As a thank you, Batman gives her the Batgirl costume, christens Dick Robin, and it's off to save the city - but Batman isn't very comfortable with the whole teamwork thing yet, so he repeatedly messes up, but eventually the three of them, helped by Batman's rogue gallery freed from Arkham, of course manage to put an end to Joker and company's shenanigans - and in the end, Batman actually admits to the Joker that their relationship was indeed "special" ...

 

In a time where superhero movies have grown increasingly grim (with exceptions of course), The Lego Batman Movie came as something of a breath of fresh air, as it refuses to give its source material some long misunderstood respect but played up the silliness of the concept - in often very clever ways that dig deeper into the character of Batman than most other movies. As a result, it's not necessarily Batman's most noble traits that are on the forefront here but his selfishness and his self-rightousness, both of which often pose a threat to others - but all of this wrapped up in comedy and parody, with plenty of really funny jokes and routines. And spectacle wise, the film surely holds its own, with the Lego characteristics that are the core of the concept, nicely integrated into everything - it's only in the grand finale that too much is happening on screen to properly appreciate things. Also the ending of the film is a bit too wholesome and the thing becomes a bit too mainstream Hollywood again, but in all something that can be enjoyed without regret, especially since in its silliness it's a lot more intelligent than many other contemporary superhero movies.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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