Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Lego Batman Movie

Time to roll again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  Watching movies, blogging about them, all because one day my best friend said to me, "Hey, do you know what you should do?"  Today, I'm watching The Lego Batman Movie.  This is originally in my notes at July 2, 2018.

Lego Batman was one of the true scene-stealers in The Lego Movie, so it just made sense to give him his own movie.  But, would he work in a solo film?  Usually, when the comedic sidekick is given his own film, the results are less than stellar (see Cars 2 and Minions).  Lego Batman, though, had an advantage;  the rich Bamtan mythology to mine and spoof. 

I tell you, there are so many Batman Easter eggs and tiny references, you've got to watch this film frame-by-frame to catch them all.  The one I caught the first time when I saw the film in theares is Alfred's parenting book is written by Dr. Bartholomew Wolper.  Dr. Wolper is the super-sensitive, new-age psychiatrist who declared the Joker "cured" in the legendary graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.  Or my favourite not-so-subtle one, "We are going to punch these guys so hard that words describing the impact will spontaneously appear over their heads."  Cue the classic 1960's Batman theme, as a fight breaks out with all the requisite "Pows!" and "Whams!" 

It was surprising, though, how they don't really play with the Lego-ness of the universe that much.  Makes sense, seeing as to how that was very well-covered in The Lego Movie.  There's a couple of times where Batman uses his "master builder" skills to whip up a new Bat-vehicle from the Lego bricks in his surrounds, and a gag about how Gotham City is built upon "two  unstable plates that could separate at the slightest bump, plunging us all into an abyss that smells like dirty socks," but that's about it. 

The best thing, though, is out of all the superhero films, this is the only one that really does an in-depth exploration of the whole "I work alone" trope.  Batman has always boasted about how does it alone.  But now, thanks to some offhand comments he made at a gala, he's adopted Dick Grayson, who's desperate for a father figure.  New police commissioner Barbara Gordon annoys Batman with her radical new idea of Batman and the GCPD actually working together.  And Alfred's trying to reach out to Batman to be a surrogate father figure.  Can Batman open up his heart and love these people when they all want to love him?

And then on the opposite end of the spectrum we have the Joker, who's trying to get Batman to admit that Batman hates the Joker, and Batman can't do what he can without the Joker.  I mean, the heartbreak the Joker goes through when Batman's all, "I don't think about you at all.  You're just another random villain to me," is kinda funny.  My only complaint is, watching it again on Blu-Ran, I found Zack Gallifinakis's voice acting as the Joker to be a little flat. 

The Lego Batman Movie is just fun, fun, fun.  Check it out, if you haven't already.

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