Project #245: The Lego Batman Movie

Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Hey guess what, it’s Animation Bang time! Today on Animation Bang we’re talking about Legos. They’ve been around for years, inspiring creativity and entertainment for little kids and adults. These last few years they’ve grown in popularity big time what with the licensing of popular franchises, making video games, and the biggest feat yet, making a movie. The Lego movie shocked a lot of people when it came out. Not because it was bad but because it was a damn good movie. Everybody thought this was going to be a quick cash-in but no, it was creative, funny, entertaining, had good characters, and good morals and themes for both kids and adults. This movie made the Lego series more popular than ever and we all wondered how it could get any better? Well this year in the form of the Lego Batman movie. Right from the start this sounds like an idea that shouldn’t work. Batman is the greatest hero of all time but his series has always been dark, tragic, and a little disturbing at times, the exact opposite of what Legos are. This mindset has been in the movies, comics, and animated shows so how do you take one of the darkest superheroes of all time and make him kid friendly while still giving respect to the source material? Well let’s find out. This is the Lego Batman movie.

The movie starts off on what I have to admit is a pretty epic start. The Joker voiced by Zach Galifianakis has hijacked a plane carrying dynamite, C4, and bombs (why you would fly that over the most crime-ridden city in the world is beyond me). His plan is to destroy the platforms holding Gotham City and to make sure Batman doesn’t him stop he destroyed the Bat Signal, has gotten all of Gotham’s most wanted and most unknown (I’m not kidding, he called in villains who haven’t been seen since the 70s. Google them) to help him out and he demands that the mayor be delivered to him as a hostage (scene here: https://youtu.be/BzNAyZw7DF0 it’s a pretty intense setup. Like something I would expect to see at the climax of a movie or comic). The mayor gives herself up only to reveal that she’s Batman voiced by Will Arnett in disguise and begins beating up everyone in his path all while rocking out to his own theme song which talks about how cool he is (scene here: https://youtu.be/wGNlhTWBhHM). When it’s finally down to just him and Joker, he lets him go in order to stop the bomb but not before telling Joker that what they have is nothing. You see in this world The Joker believes that he and Batman are in this bromance relationship with each other with Batman considering him his greatest villain who he’s obsessed with, but Batman shatters that illusion and tells The Joker that they have nothing (it was a hurtful scene. Like a girl telling a boy who likes her that she doesn’t care for him at all and then kicking him in the balls while taking his wallet). After letting The Joker go Batman stops the bomb and saves the city soaking in all the glory (scene here: https://youtu.be/IcadnazIGwQ, drink it in maaaaaaaaaaaan~).

He returns home where we see just how lonely his life is and I have to admit this is a good moment. Batman has always held the burden of being alone and here we see him at his loneliest (scene here: https://youtu.be/PGg3Xknuw0A). After taking this all in Alfred comes in and tells Bruce he’s going to Gordon’s retirement party where he meets the young and energetic orphan Dick Grayson voiced by Michael Cera (who just wins you over with his energy and performance as Dick). He also meets Barbara the daughter of Jim and the newest commissioner who Bruce is fawning over (scene here: https://youtu.be/M0Ysypch1Qw. Nooo~ Tim and Barbara all the way. If you wanna fight about this, come at me bro. I will fight you in the street and post in on Youtube). Barbara takes the podium where she announces that she wants to team up with Batman and make him a member of the police force to rid Gotham of crime forever (or at least for a month until someone escapes Arkham and causes havoc again. If you really wanna stop crime in Gotham. Build a better prison). Of course, Bruce doesn’t like this but before he can voice his complaints The Joker and Gotham’s Rogue Gallery shows up and give themselves up with Barbara getting full credit for the arrest (scenes here: https://youtu.be/TGkJNx6jcuo  and https://youtu.be/o-Z6N6HFXV4, only 5 minutes on the job and she’s already captured everyone. This more than makes up for her role in The Killing Joke). With no more villains Gotham is now free of crime and no longer needs the Bats but both Barbara and Batman know The Joker is up to something and Batman wants to send him to the Phantom Zone (it’s nice, if you enjoy floating around in space continuously with no end in sight). Unfortunately, the Phantom Zone is outside their jurisdiction (hasn’t stopped Batman before and won’t stop him now) so Batman tries to find a loophole around this but Alfred has locked the computer (every kid’s worst nightmare) and lets Dick into the Batcave since Batman unconsciously adopted him at the party. Once Dick is in the Batcave he goes fanboy on us (in his defense I would do the same thing) and Batman gets the idea to use him to steal the Phantom Zone projector from Superman so Dick dons the mask of what he will come to be known as Robin the boy wonder (scene here: https://youtu.be/2fMz909rJSc).

They go to the Fortress of Solitude where Robin sneaks in to steal the projector while Batman distracts Superman who is hosting a Justice League party and didn’t invite Batman (again emphasizing how alone Batman is in the world). Robin manages to get the projector following Batman’s instructions and impressing him (scene here: https://youtu.be/GV6E8qHzflk). They return to Gotham, fight their way into Arkham, and send Joker to the Phantom Zone (scene here: https://youtu.be/2oYzj1elanM). Barbara locks Batman up along with Robin and we see Joker in the Phantom Zone with a lot of good shout outs to Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Gremlins, King Kong, Jurassic Park, The Wizard of Oz, Dracula, those robots from Dr. Who (I don’t watch this show so I’m not sure if that’s them. Ask your nerdy friends) and even the Matrix (https://youtu.be/qjBRNqwDPrU). They all agree to team up with The Joker (scene here: https://youtu.be/kXCw4YgJebA, they get him) and Harley Quinn reclaims the projector and unleashes everyone on Gotham just like The Joker planned (scene here: https://youtu.be/krvkISauD78). So Gotham falls under Joker’s control, he raids the Batcave (renaming it the Butt Cave) and Barbara lets Batman out on the condition that he works with everyone and he reluctantly agrees to do it. Batman, Robin, Barbara, and Alfred (bringing back the 60s) fly to Joker Manor where they fight their way there taking out Sauron in the process (scene here: https://youtu.be/yFTdMbWRCrs). Once they land off the coast of Joker Manor, Batman locks the group in the Batwing because he doesn’t want them to get hurt or risk losing them like he has in the past. He heads into the manor alone where Joker tries to get Batman to acknowledge their relationship but once again gets his heart crushed (why do you hurt him so much Batman?). Joker sends Batman to the Phantom Zone where the security block shows him his faults. The rest of the group manages to return and fight against Joker and his gang but at the rate they’re going they’re going to lose. Batman begs to be sent back saying he’ll do things differently by working with everyone and the block agrees to let him go however he must return the villains, all of them. He returns saving everyone and admitting that he’s afraid of being a part of a family because he’s afraid he’ll lose them just like he lost his parents. After finally opening up, he admits that he needs them and not just them but the entire rogue gallery to save the city and they all agree to help stop The Joker who plans on blowing the city up once again. Teaming up with everyone they manage to get the projector and re-send all the bad guys back to the Phantom Zone (all while making a shout out to the 60s Batman. Scene here: https://youtu.be/q0TP1SkdHr8) but Joker’s bomb goes off which means the city is doomed. As the city gets torn apart, everyone combines to form a chain to pull the city back together but it’s not enough. Batman begs The Joker for help and admits that he does think of him and is one of the reasons why he can’t have nice things in life. Joker decides to help as do the citizens of Gotham (about time you guys started doing something for your city) and they manage to pull the city back together with Batman finally admitting he hates The Joker (scene here: https://youtu.be/_fIWgGWsRw0, the bromance is real). So the city gets saved, Batman gives the rogues a 30 min head start (you’ve gone soft on me Batman) and they head back to Wayne Manor to have a family meal with each other. The end.

Final Thoughts

Why does this movie work!? I mean it, the idea of taking Batman and giving him a Lego movie shouldn’t work but yet it works out perfectly here. The movie does a good adding something new to the Batman series while also paying proper respect to the source material and shout outs to other iterations that came before it. I love the way they show how lonely and afraid Batman is in the movie and how he masks his loneliness by being cocky, arrogant, and selfish. I like how Batman and The Joker’s relationship is done as a bromance. Their relationship to each other has been explored so many times in the shows, movies, and comics so who’s to say their relationship can’t be seen as a bromance of two people who hate each other so much that it almost can be seen as some messed up romance. The voice acting is top notch as everyone does a good job with their role but I think the two best performances are Zach Galifianakis as The Joker who is funny and delivers good lines like always. While not the best Joker he’s definitely good in my books. The other one for best performance goes to Michael Cera who as I said before just wins you over with his energetic performance as Robin. He just makes Robin such a lovable character throughout the movie. The Lego animation is very good here and I like how this world follows the Lego world logic by being fun and entertaining but also keeping the city dark and dangerous like the original Batman. The action was decent although I do wish the villains got a few hits in instead of being so one-sided all the time and the music is good as well. It does a good job mixing classic songs that I grew up listening to with modern songs and remixes as well. If I had to name two complaints, it would be Batman’s beatboxing. It was funny the first time but got a little old the other times and that romantic aspect they tried to built between Barbara and Bruce. They hint they were going to do something with it but then they just up and drop it in favor of a running joke. I mean, I’m glad they didn’t pursue that route but if you’re not going to pursue it why introduce it to us in the first place?

Final Score

The final score for the Lego Batman movie is a 8/10. It’s a solid movie all around that’s funny, creative, and a joy to watch whether you’re a kid or an adult. This movie has shown us that the Lego movies are definitely good and won’t be going anywhere for a while and with their Ninjago movie set to come out soon (which looks good) I’m excited to see what they dip their hands into next. There’s definitely a lot of joy and creativity in the creation of these movies and I hope to see more of them in the future. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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