Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Lego Batman Movie [2017]

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-II) (2 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (B)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review (S. Wloszczyna) review
AVClub (J. Hessenger) review

The Lego Batman Movie [2017] (directed by Chris McKay, story by Seth Grahame-Smith, screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith along with others, Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) is ONE FUNNY, FAMILY FRIENDLY / KID ORIENTED (and even MESSAGE DRIVEN) comic book superhero movie! 

It has the child-oriented quarkiness of the (then) surprise Marvel Comics out-of-the-ball-park hit Guardians of the Galaxy [2014] and the similarly surprisingly successful (but not as successful as Guardians) first Lego Movie [2014], BUT then (as in said first Lego Movie) the current movie adds a lovely family oriented message that, yes, even a five or six year old could understand.  In other words, this film offers not just "goofiness," but "goofiness with a purpose" ;-).

The ever-brooding (but here, over-the-top brooding) Batman [wikip] [IMDb] (voiced by Will Arnett) was the surprise "break-out star" of the first Lego Movie [2014] just begging for a Lego film of his own.  And voila' ... in this film we got our wish ;-).

In the current film, we're introduced to said brooding Batman [wikip] [IMDb] as a supremely efficient, if soulless, death-and-destruction dealing vigilante-guardian of Gotham City.  He keeps the _ever_ ready to go _completely unhinged_ city SAFE, but does so certainly _without_ any joy and even without any particular purpose.  It seems that chaos simply "annoyed" Batman, perhaps "annoyed him A LOT" ... but beyond causing him some apparent discomfort in his otherwise thoroughly "cartesian"  / gadget-filled life ... it's hard to say at the beginning of the story that he cared really FOR ANYTHING.  (LOL - "cartesian" ... the box-like Lego-medium of this film becomes an additional amusing metaphor for his apparent "outlook on life" ;-).

Indeed, Batman seemed to "crush" The Joker (voiced inspiringly in the film by Zach Galifianakis) in a way that no punch nor wildly exotic piece of "bat weaponry" could ever do by telling him after their first big encounter near the beginning of the film that even HE, "The Joker," meant NOTHING to him.  "What do you mean NOTHING?" asks a thoroughly aghast Joker, "I am your PRIMARY NEMESIS in this TOWN. (I KILL ... (arguably) for you. ;-)"  But NOTHING was right.  EVEN the Joker was but an "annoyance" to him. 

Batman neither needed nor wanted _any help_ from _anybody_ in keeping the city SAFE (!!) from "vermin" like The Joker.  But after liquidating one or another radically insane "Evil Doer,"  Batman would simply retreat to his "Bat Cave" where he'd eat his wildly luxurious food -- Lobster (lobster, mind you Dear Readers, made here out of legos ;-) and watch ... tear-jerking romcoms.  We watch Tom Cruise declare to Rene Zellwigger in Jerry Maguire [1996]: "You complete me."  And yet ... The Batman does not need ANYBODY to "complete" him ... And yet ... there we see him binge-watching teary RomComs ... "in the darkness" ... ALONE.

This, of course, can not stand ... and ... (of course) it does NOT ;-).

And the rest of the story ensues ;-)  I JUST LOVED THIS FILM ... ;-)  It's a reminder to all that you could even be a "super-hero."  But without friends, you can still be nothing.

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