Wednesday, March 8, 2017

3 Thoughts on The LEGO Batman Movie

1. The "meta" superhero story - As much as I love the new incarnation of Batman, and other superheroes, it's kind of nice to see a new animated tale of these beloved characters. It's more explicit in the "good" guy versus the "bad" guy, has fun with the story (as opposed to the "real" grittier versions), and it can be over the top ridiculous because it's a cartoon! It's reflective of the superhero genre, in that it recognizes the personal side of being a superhero. Most of these stories equalize "personal" story with "love" story, while this one shows the loneliness that someone like Batman would encounter. I think Batman v Superman attempted to do the same (with the whole "Martha" bit), but it came out of nowhere and was therefore laughed at. This movie embraces Batman's loneliness and tries to teach the lesson of opening up to others - like working as a team to accomplish a common goal. It also touches on the subject of competition as a motivator - i.e Batman needs The Joker in order to feel fulfilled and become a better superhero. Overall, it's a super cute way of sending these positive messages to kids, while still entertaining an adult audience.

2. The jokes - While I enjoyed the story and the animation, I'll be honest, I was hoping for funnier. It's cute and there are moments where I smiled, but there weren't really any laugh out loud moments. Of course, there are plenty of Marvel digs, as expected - none were funny. A lot of the jokes, not just the Marvel ones, seemed really obvious - like the references to Robin and his outfits. I realize it's for kids, so obvious jokes are necessary but I feel like the jokes were too adult for kids, but too obvious for adults to enjoy - does that make sense? Anyway, I did enjoy the many references to old school '60s style Batman, although I'm not sure many kids did.

3. The cameos - Just like The LEGO Movie, the cameos are fantastic. Aside from the typical Batman characters (friends and foes - like every friend and foe that exists in the world of Batman), there is a whole slew of "bad guys" at the end including a Dalek, a Gremlin, King Kong, The Kraken (OMG hilarious!), and The Wicked Witch of the West. All of it was perfection. I also liked that Michael Cera was the voice of Robin - because that's just perfect. And it took me the entire movie to realize that it's Zach Galifianakis' voice for The Joker. I knew it seemed familiar, but I couldn't place it. Actually, all of the voice actors were perfectly cast for their characters - so much so that I would actually love to see a live-action version with these same actors.

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