The director of the 1997 film ‘Batman & Robin’ once called it ‘toyetic’. He meant it was purely a vehicle to sell more toys and related merchandise. How right about that notorious mis-fire would he be with ‘The Lego Batman Movie’. Basically a long Lego commercial, it can’t be anything but ‘toyetic’. Almost as if its makers poured boxes of Lego onto the screen and see what came out, it’s silly but fun. With a new generation embracing the yellow block of plastic, the film’s success won’t hurt sales anytime soon.
Bruce Wayne/Batman (Will Arnett) is having a bad day. Even though he’s the cool dark knight protecting the streets of Gotham City, he wishes his usual hoard of villains would disappear. The Joker (Zach Galifianakis), The Riddler (Conan O’Brien), Two-Face (Billy Dee Williams) and others are making his life miserable. Added to the mix is young orphan Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera) who wants to become Batman’s side-kick. Something has to give as Batman aims to eliminate his rogue’s gallery as they hatch their most audacious plan yet.
‘The Lego Batman Movie’ sets out to be an entertaining mish-mash of the Batman mythology. From the campy 1960’s TV series to the latest dark and brooding version, it’s all here. They are lovingly skewered along with general superhero conventions. The makers of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ know it won’t win any awards and succeed in generating ongoing fun. It doesn’t hurt having messages about working with others and asking for help. These are blended well amongst the colourfully cartoonish mayhem.
‘The Lego Batman Movie’ certainly is colourful as it comes alive like a glittering rainbow. All of Batman’s enemies are present and correct and voiced by an enthusiastic cast. That it also has an actual story-line is a credit to the care taken in creating something imaginative than just having a pile of noise and action. The film moves briskly with the myriad of in-jokes coming thick and fast. It also proves you don’t have to be dark and sombre to be noteworthy with Batman finally letting loose after decades of moody outings.
Although ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is a gratuitous plug for toys, it is a good film in its own right. The animation is great, the characters are engaging and the script is consistently entertaining. This is an all-ages movie anyone can see without any talking down to the audience. Batman has never been more amusing with Lego shining along with Batman’s sleek Batmobile.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
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