Saturday, February 11, 2017

MLEEP Reviews: The LEGO Batman Movie

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
Written By Seth Grahame-Smith
Composed By Lorne Balfe
Produced By Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Edited By David Burros, Matt Villa and John Venson
Directed By Chris McKay

Got back from seeing 'The LEGO Batman Movie' with my sister not too long ago and...how did it hold up after so much hype and anticipation after the surprise success of 'The LEGO Movie'? It was good...but maybe not as good as I thought it would be. Why do I feel this way? Let's take a look!

There are big changes brewing in Gotham City...but if Batman (played by Will Arnett-nice continuity, Warner Bros!) wants to save the city from the Joker's (played by Zach Galifianakis) hostile takeover, he may have to drop the lone vigilante thing as well as try to work with others and maybe he'll learn to lighten up-maybe his superhero sidekick Robin (played by Michael Cera) and loyal butler Alfred (played by Ralph Fiennes) can show him a thing or two. Let's be honest here, people-'The LEGO Movie' was a very hard act to follow in terms of how well it was received, so you can imagine how excited everyone got for this film considering how LEGO and Batman have been a part of practically everyone's childhoods...and like I said, it's a good movie-don't get me wrong-but maybe this film can be an example of how hyping up a movie too much can hurt it.

When it comes to the story...much like The LEGO Movie, it all sounds like it was written by a seven-year-old kid if you've seen the trailers or read what this film is about in terms of Batman having to learn to work together in order to discover a moral of just being yourself as well as all the random cameos of other DC Comics superheroes and villains to the point where you would question why an executive would green-light a project like this. However with the context of this being both a LEGO and Batman movie, it miraculously works in how it pays homage to a simpler time of our youth when we would make up our own tales of adventure and have whoever we want in them as the characters like it was one big crossover along the lines of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' and in doing so makes the film capable of doing something that normally wouldn't be capable of doing with how original it tries to be-sure it may sound like everything was made up on the spot, but who didn't do that when they were playing with their toys as kids? But sadly, since this film feels like it can do whatever it wants...one of the problems is that it is very fast-paced and has a 'no time to explain, just go' attitude to the point where you can't breathe or comprehend what's going on at certain points and the other being the hit-and-miss humor that can either be really funny like in how it pokes fun at every generation of Batman from the cereal commercials in the 40's to the present day with the controversial 'Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice' or fall flat on its face.

As for the animation...much like The LEGO Movie, the team at Warner Animation Group uses the same seamlessly-blended mixed style of CGI/stop-motion animation and I don't think we will see another film that gave so much attention to detail in their animation quite like this. Making LEGOs look like LEGOs is tricky enough, but to make them feel like actual characters is no easy task as the team made sure to make every little detail on our characters and locations count and look like the toys and heroes/villains that we've come to know and love like with the limitations of how the toys can move which is also a part of the humor for certain scenes that I won't spoil for you and it truly feels like the team is transporting us into the familiar locations that we know so well from the Batman franchise

And when it comes to the characters...since we are watching a Batman movie made entirely out of LEGOs, you will instantly recognize the familiar faces that we've all come to know and love from Batman himself (who Will Arnett did so well in reprising his role from three years ago) to his sidekick Robin (heck, his secret identity is that of the first incarnation of him in the comics!) and even using every Batman villain imaginable from the more familiar ones like The Joker and Harley Quinn to the lesser known ones...but if there's one thing that we've come to expect from these LEGO movies lately, it's the cameo characters and they are integrated into the story very well as you never know who will appear onscreen and it is so spontaneous that you can't help but laugh.

Overall...it may not be as good as 'The LEGO Movie', but 'The LEGO Batman Movie' is a loving tribute to the Caped Crusader himself and gets a rating of a 9 out of 10.