Possibly the greatest Batman movie ever, The Lego Batman Movie is both an homage and a parody to DC Comic’s most enduring superhero.
The Lego Batman Movie Synopsis
While thwarting his arch nemesis’ latest scheme to destroy Gotham City, Batman deeply wounded the feelings of Joker by telling the latter he is not as important as he thinks he is. Determined to avenge his pride, Joker then convinces all other villains in Gotham to surrender at a winter gala. This, coupled with the new police commissioner’s intention to restructure the force without the involvement of Batman, soon puts the Dark Knight in a job crisis i.e. unemployment. Aware that the surrender is but another nefarious Joker scheme, though, Batman proceeds to steal Superman’s Phantom Zone Projector, intending to use it to banish Joker and his lot to the prison dimension. He doesn’t realise that by doing so, he plays right into Joker’s hand. To win, Batman have to rely on the combined help of all his allies.
As a kid, I disliked Batman. Sorry to say this but I thought he was rather lame. Other than having no superpowers, he was just so hapless and campy in the 60s series and in Superfriends.
After I grew up, though, the Batman persona began to appeal more and more, largely thanks to updated, more sophisticated storytelling. What then fascinated me most was not so much the whole damaged psyche backstory or his incredible detective skills, but the many story possibilities regularly toyed with.
Possibilities such as, what exactly is Bats’ relationship with all his Robins? All his boys.
Is Bats as obsessed with the Joker as the Joker is with him?
Wouldn’t the Gotham police detest Batman for showing how badly they sucked are at their jobs?
And so on.
The Lego Batman Movie investigates all these possibilities in one grandiose swoop, at the same time, spinning a story so hilarious you would be grinning non-stop from start to end. Batman here is also the one so many of us have long suspected him to be. As in hopelessly vain, egotistical, and at the heart of everything, just an insecure rich kid who never grew out of his misery. (Or his toys)
To sustain the joy and humour, practically every minute of the movie is spiced by a tasty cameo too, or an Easter egg, or some outrageous proclamation by Bats. The end-effect is simply incredible. Utterly incredible. While it ought to feel messy and over-the-top, one never loses track of the story or feel bloated. The jokes and the colourful, brick-y world sucks you in like a vortex. You’d be cheering for everything. Yes, including the adorable villains.
And the cameos! From Superfriends, to Voldemort, to versions of Batman from over 70 years. On the last bit, The Lego Batman Movie is both an homage to and a parody of these historical versions. For me, the eagerness of the movie to laugh at these outdated versions is also easily what’s most adorable about it. I’d go to the extent of saying the move makes The Lego Batman Movie possibly the best dark knight movie ever.
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