I was very excited to watch and review this highly anticipated film, so after my friend asked me to see it I eagerly accepted like the big kid I am. After The Lego Movie, which I absolutely adore, I couldn’t wait to see what they had in store next. P.S: If you haven’t seen The Lego Movie, arm yourselves with snacks, build a duvet fort and enjoy the childishness for a while!
Now, I know this is a kids film so there are certain expectations (or lack of). This film, however, opened brilliantly. It was immediately meta, constantly referring to the fact that it was indeed a film. The comedy is on point, so hats off to the writer. Will Arnett, who plays Batman, is also the perfect choice for the role and captures the self-deprecating humour of the much loved character. Without spoiling it too much, I laughed a lot within the opening credits. The film set up Batman as a lovable character who you really sympathised with. The references to previous adaptations of the vigilante was also a nice nod to DC and one for the adult fans to enjoy. I had a great feeling that the first 10 minutes of the film would mean that the rest would be just as good, following perfectly in the footsteps of The Lego Movie. The genius continued when Robin was introduced, new backstory in tow. This was a brilliant take on the story and it was nice to see the adorable sidekick included, as he is often left out in more modern film versions. Michael Cera was also a great choice casting wise, with impeccable comic timing to bounce of his counterpart. The film was really looking up.
I am disappointed to say that as the plot progressed I lost interest and couldn’t wait for the end to bring back a light-hearted, comic resolution. The narrative, whilst somewhat interesting with the inclusion of Batman’s enemies, was not engaging for an older audience. For a fan of all things superhero and action I’ve always struggled to get on board with Batman, which could be why I didn’t enjoy the climax. I do, however, believe that once the comedy was lost, Batman was not so much of the lovable character I first thought (which is certainly the problem with cynical, moody protagonists). The film also tried to include too many characters which, although this worked well in The Lego Movie, complicated the plot and distracted from the relationship they tried to build between the Joker and Batman. The idea behind the story was good but it was not executed well, in my opinion.
It’s difficult to review The Lego Batman Movie without referring to The Lego Movie, and as a spinoff sequel I was somewhat disappointed. I started the film emotionally invested in Batman and his dismal life, found myself chuckling along to one-liners and comic references, and certainly enjoyed the presence of Ralph Fiennes as Alfred the butler. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the rest of the film. It was a nice try from the franchise, but it did not live up to previous standards throughout. However, it is important to note the reaction of the many children surrounding me, who left the cinema quoting the film and acting not just as Batman, but Robin too. There is nothing better than leaving a film designed for kids to see that it captures their imagination. So, whilst it was hit and miss from an adult’s perspective, it’s safe to say that The Lego Batman succeeded as a kids film.