With the renowned success of 2014’s Lego Movie, it was only natural that our master builder and smooth talker should deserve a more fleshed out approach to a recognised hero.
Batman has had a string of reboots and makeovers, all the way from humourous Adam West in the 60s through to brooding Christian Bale of recent years. Dark themes swirl throughout the series and the sense of loss and torment that has plagued billionaire orphan Bruce Wayne has given us a vigilante that can neither be defined as being strictly a goodie.
It could be his subtle dig at previous DC movies (“who thought it was a good idea to let criminals fight criminals) or the deep, gravelly voice that leaves a deadpan approach to those who try to instill a familiar, sentimental gloss to children’s movies. Regardless, Will Arnett brings his own flair to a plastic toy who could very well be human. Yes, the suspension of disbelief in this movie is considerably higher than the previous caper. If we are reminded that we are watching a children’s movie, we owe this in part to this splash of intricate animation and the expertly manipulated execution of each character’s physicality that could give Buzz Lightyear a run for his money. Did we mention the endless slew of mentions to other Warner Brothers characters is a real treat?
This ain’t no child’s play.
A new LEGO universe that exists in its own right plays host a whole new motley crew of heroes and villains. Rosario Dawson (Death Proof, Clerks II) is Barbara Gordon, whose mission is to make Batman redundant with a law enforcement that threatens the indulgent crime fighting activities while The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and his henchmen-in a sidesplitting roll call of “C grade villains”-lay mysteriously low and are suspiciously compliant with this new program. New kid on the block Dick (Michael Cera) also shows up, who might just be the sidekick Batman does not need or deserve right now.
Children are no strangers to the mentality that superheroes who go at it alone cannot save the world and be happy. Nor do they expect to be sickeningly reminded that friendship will sanitise any misdemeanour in the sandpit. In this world, we’re taught that girls are just are fearless and stubborn, mentors cannot manipulate their proteges, and that family is the solid building block of any organisation. Oh, and a metal slash RNB soundtrack layered over any action scene gives our hero the cool factor if that hasn’t already been established. Thanks to yet another made-for-movie pop song and original vocals by Arnett, we have now have another incentive to see this movie again.
Do not be fooled by the explosion of the colour palette or the seemingly cardboard cut out characters.This is a film for the big kids, and you will regret not seeing it more than the time you stepped on a piece of LEGO in the middle of the night.