The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
February 10, 2017 7:45 PM - Subscribe

Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.

AVClub: B. "Batman has plenty of other dualities, some of which are almost paradoxical: He’s a fearsome, lone vigilante who has often been surrounded by a cast of colorful friends and family; he frequently appears in dark, gritty stories that are just as often consumed and beloved by children; and he’s an object of audience wish fulfillment who spends a lot of time being obsessive and miserable. These are aspects that The Lego Batman Movie touches upon, using its irreverence for the character to formulate an original take on him. "

posted by isthmus (18 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I laughed a lot. Will Arnett is the best Batman, and Michael Cera was delightful as Robin. (I didn't realize it was Cera until halfway through the film, but I liked the voice acting right away.)
posted by isthmus at 8:10 PM on February 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

I guess I shouldn't judge the movie from the novelization, but I read the "junior novel" with my son and it was terrible. Batman's just an incredible asshole to everyone around him ("accidentally" adopts Dick because he's completely ignoring him, wants nothing to do with him until he realizes he can use him in a potentially deadly situation where he's totally expendable, and then immediately takes him back to the orphanage when the mission is over). He arrogantly ruins the careful plans of the competent female official, thereby causing the near destruction of the city. He's not all that redeemed at the end, either, which feels very forced.

There were whole passages that caused me to cringe while reading them out loud, and you could tell the writer was trying to convey what was going on in the movie rather than tell the story. It was just an awful book, and I suspected that expanding the one-note caricature from the LEGO Movie into something that could fill its own story was too much.

But all the reviews I've seen talk glowingly of it, so I suspect it's all in the delivery. The novelization didn't capture the spirit of Will Arnett's performance, and doesn't bring you into the joke. So... avoid the book.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:40 AM on February 11, 2017

i was planning to read the book version of a movie version of a toy version of a comic book, but my head is spinning so hard i can't focus on the page ;)
posted by rebent at 7:50 AM on February 11, 2017 [10 favorites]

I saw it on opening day. The plot pacing is kinda too fast or too slow occasionally, sometimes the action is a bit too frenetic, and sometimes there's too much on the screen at once. BUT, most of the jokes land and it's probably one of the better deconstructions (heh) of Batman I've seen. I'm glad that the LEGO "style" of films provides an easy way for franchises to do something more experimental and silly on the big screen without having to worry about whether it will affect their main "universe".

If you like the Batmite episodes of The Brave & The Bold, or even just B&B in general, the LEGO Batman Movie is kind of like a bigger version of that.
posted by FJT at 6:08 PM on February 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I loved this. I laughed so hard... It was amazing, and anyone who has ever loved Batman should see it.
posted by meese at 6:25 PM on February 11, 2017

I saw it today, and tbh I think this is now my favorite Batman movie after Mask of the Phantasm.

My single favorite moment was "gasp! Batman lives in Bruce Wayne's basement?!" "NO, Bruce Wayne lives in Batman's attic!" It's eerily accurate and incredibly funny at the same time. How was this the best Batman characterization I've ever seen on a big screen?
posted by nonasuch at 8:39 PM on February 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

One thing in particular I loved was the movie's recognition that vigilantism isn't really how to end crime. I loved the whole "statistics and compassion" thing, because, yes!, That is in fact a more appropriate response to crime! And it's something that never ever really gets brought up in Batman stories!
posted by meese at 7:53 AM on February 12, 2017 [7 favorites]

Loved it. The real joy for me was the absurd lengths it went to to pay tribute to every previous Batman from the past 75 years. I didn't realize until after I saw the film, but every single one of he bad guys was a legit part of Batman canon - including condiment king, calendar man and egg head.

Even the casting is full of in-jokes. The guy who plays Two Face (Billy Dee Williams) played Harvey Dent in the 1989 movie but was replaced by Tommy Lee Jones before he got the chance to play Two Face... until the Lego Batman Movie.
posted by simonw at 1:45 PM on February 12, 2017 [3 favorites]

I agree with FJT on the pacing. I think The Lego Movie did a better job of handling that frenetic, throw-it-all-out-there approach. And I thought the stuff about relationships and pushing people away was a little heavy for a film like this. But I thought the movie worked overall.

The voice work was great across the board. I loved Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face. And Doug Benson doing his Tom Hardy impression as Bane was hilarious.
posted by MrBadExample at 10:36 PM on February 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm not sure it was meant for me because I didn't enjoy it much. I'm not a huge comics nerd but I know the story, have read many of the comics, and have seen all of the movies. But a lot of it was me going, "They're plumbing the loner thing AGAIN? Wasn't that tired long before this movie?"

The jokes were either given away in the trailers and commercials or irrelevant. Usually when my wife, son, and I leave a comedy we have a few quotable lines but this time, nothing.

I agree with the comments about it being too frenetic. It was almost impossible to follow the fight scenes.

I also feel like the lego constructions were pretty bad. Too many useless bits, poor color choices, uncertain shape choices and architectures. Like, if they were made of real plastic, they wouldn't be up to snuff for Legoland or an in-store kit.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:39 PM on February 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was really happy to find out that Billy Dee Williams finally got to play Two-Face, after being robbed for Batman Forever.

I thought it was good but not great, although part of that is just having to measure up against The LEGO Movie. I'll have to watch it again once it's on DVD, just so I can freeze-frame the callbacks to other Batmen.

I did like that all the guns went "pew", which is exactly the noise that LEGO guns make.

Since this movie is in continuity with every other Batman movie, does that now mean that every Batman movie is now in continuity with one another?

Anyway, I'm just glad we didn't have to watch Mrs. Wayne's pearls scattering across the pavement, again.
posted by ckape at 11:47 AM on February 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

I watched this last night in crazy 4DX seats that moved and shifted and sprayed water and air jets at me and it was the best possible movie for that ridiculous experience. It was very funny and I loved the deep cuts on Bat-history, like the giant rack of different Batmobile designs. From a LEGO movie perspective, they made much less of a deal about 'master building', which is not a bad thing.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:57 PM on February 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I didn't enjoy it as much as The Lego Movie, but my kid (5) enjoyed it more. I think it's more of a kids-movie-with-bits-adults-will-enjoy rather than the more cross-generational appeal of The Lego Movie. And that's fine. I laughed, I appreciated the Lego-based humour, I liked the references to all the other franchises my kid has no idea about. I will take him to see The Lego Ninjago Movie too, no doubt.

I did like that all the guns went "pew"

I loved that, but I'm pretty sure it was the characters firing the guns shouting "pew pew pew!", which is even better.

I read something about this not referencing "the outside world" like The Lego Movie does, where it breaks the fourth wall and has the live-action characters, however I think the reference to the "endless void" below Gotham is pretty clearly "the space below the table that Gotham is built on in someone's basement".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:38 AM on February 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

I laughed from the "Warner Bros." pronounciation on (although I probably laughed the hardest at that, because it is so stupid). It gets bogged down in parts, but Billy Dee! The Scuttler's dog ears when Batman is sending him away! Rosario Dawson!

I wouldn't watch it again (unless I could find a place with those 4DX seats!), but it made a decent evening's entertainment.
posted by minsies at 9:51 AM on February 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

I watched it for Valentine's Day with the beau. It was everything I could hope for and then some. I like Batman best when he's moody and competent, the foil to all of the zany characters around him--because face it, a guy that serious is meant to be the butt of many, many jokes. I wish it had more Harley and other Robins, less of the alternative Lego universe baddies, but for what it was, it was pretty darn cute.
posted by PearlRose at 11:17 AM on February 17, 2017

I am totally changing my password to "Iron Man sucks" now.

Wait, did I type that out loud?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:06 PM on February 17, 2017 [5 favorites]

By far the best of the Lego movies for me; this has become a real comfort-food rewatch, it's silly and jam-packed full of jokes and takes the Batman legacy really surprisingly seriously for such a cornball take and has heart and a good ending; Batman actually learns something in this one and when the hell does that ever happen in his movies?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:49 PM on September 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Lol just watched this again and saw that Steven Mnuchin, yes that one, is an executive producer on this movie!
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:27 AM on April 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

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