The Lego Batman Movie Review: Self-Aware Brilliant Take on the Batman Mythos
Directed By: Chris McKay
Staring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes
Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith (screenplay), Chris McKenna
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 104 Minutes
Synopsis: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
The Best Batman portrayal since The Dark Knight
Coming in to The Lego Batman Movie you expect a fun, light hearted, parody of Batman and you get that, however the writers clearly understood the character and what makes the Batman-Joker relationship one of the most iconic rivalries in pop culture. Director Chris McKay builds on the successes of the Lego Movie from 2014, and centers a the story around Batman’s (Will Arnett) struggle with family and dealing with his emotions while being forced to team up with new commissioner Barbra Gordon (Rosaria Dawson), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), and Dick Grayson Robing (Micheal Cera) to take down a heartbroken Joker (Zach Galifianakis).
Batman is the incredibly cocky yet comically dark vigilante is an over the top hero who has pushed people away from him and cover that with fighting crime every night and being a playboy. When he goes to stop The Joker and all of his rouge gallery, The Joker get his heartbroken when Batman reveals that he does not need him. This leads to the Joker going to great lengths to prove to Batman that neither can exist without each other all while Batman realizes that his biggest and only fear is having a family again.
The DCEU Should Take Notes
After last years disaster of a film Batman V Superman that was dark and gritty to an extreme that took Batman to a point that most fans of the character can’t relate to. Zach Snyder and the whole team involved in the DCEU has learned the wrong lessons from the Christopher Nolan Batman films and took iconic character and made them shells on themselves. This film while being a hysterically funny, satire of the Batman character still hits the core of the character and how his pain, and loss drives him but also is his biggest weakness. Batman in the comics often struggles with trust and showing emotions and it often hurts him and causes him to get beaten by villains because he is unwilling to trust Dick, Barbra, Jason etc.
Zach Snyder continues to push the darkness of the DC characters while ignoring the reasons why Batman is dark and completely miscasting Superman. It is a shame that a comedy children’s film can connect better with a long time comic book/Batman fans more than the main DCEU film with the trinity of comic book characters. While Zach Snyder has Robin with a Battle axe and blowing up Jimmy Olson in a courthouse, Chris McKay shows and over-the-top version of Dick Grayson, while showing how important he is to Batman and showing that his goal has always been to get Bruce’s approval.
There is no Joker Without Batman
One of the biggest critiques of the Gotham TV show is that the super villains exist without a Batman and for anybody who understands these character, know that the villains thrive on Batman. This film along with the Dark Knight might be the best portrayals of the Batman v Joker relationship. The Joker is a maniacal, evil, crazy person who thrives on the back and forth with Batman and without that he does not exist. Batman’s dismissal of the Joker was also a coping method because, just like in the comics he never kills the Joker because part of him needs the challenge. This film absolutely nails that relationship while also bringing some light and comedy to this relationship. There is a part of the film where Batman and the Joker realize how much they need each other and it equally hilarious and emotional.