Monday, 10 April 2017

The LEGO Batman Movie Review

The LEGO Batman Movie

Release Date: 30th March 2017 - Australia

Production Companies 
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Animation Group
DC Entertainment
RatPac-Dune Entertainment (in association with)
The LEGO Group
Animal Logic
Vertigo Entertainment
Lin Pictures
Lord Miller
Roadshow Distribution 

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 104 minutes

Budget: $80,000,000

Box Office Gross: $311,950,384 (Worldwide)

Plot Summary 
There are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's hostile takeover, LEGO Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. 

Voice Cast
Will Arnett - Bruce Wayne/Batman
Rosario Dawson - Barbara Gordon/Batgirl
Ralph Fiennes - Alfred Pennyworth
Siri - Puter
Michael Cera - Dick Grayson/
Zach Galifianakis - The Joker
Jenny Slate - Harley Quinn
Jason Mantzoukas - Scarecrow
Conan O'Brien - The Riddler
Doug Benson - Bane
Billy Dee Williams - Two Face
Zoe Kravitz - Catwoman
Kate Micucci - Clayface
Riki Lindhome - Poison Ivy/Wicked Witch of the West
Eddie Izzard - Voldermort
Seth Green - King Kong
Jemaine Clement - Sauron
Ellie Kemper - Phyllis
Channing Tatum - Superman
Jonah Hill - Green Lantern
Adam Devine - The Flash
Hector Elizondo - Jim Gordon
Mariah Carey - Mayor McCaskill
Lauren White - Chief O'Hara/Various

Director - Chris McKay
Batman Creators - Bob Kane and Bill Finger
Superman Creators -  Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Story/Screenplay - Seth Grahame-Smith
Screenplay - Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington
Executive Producers - Benjamin Melniker, Michael Uslan, Will Allegra, Matthew Ashton, Brad Lewis, Steven Mnuchin, Zareh Nalbandian and Jill Wilfert
Producers - Roy Lee, Christopher Miller, Phil Lord and Dan Lin
Co-Producers - Jon Burton, Ryan Halprin,
John Powers Middleton and Amber Naismith
Production Designer - Grant Freckelton
Head of Story - Trisha Gum
Animation Supervisor - Rob Coleman
Film Editors - David Burrows, John Venzon
and Matt Villa
Music - Lorne Balfe

A self-referential, playful and lighthearted take of Batman was an interruption from the gloomy and dour interpretation that many fans see in the comics, films, games and TV shows. Unlike the few that came before this film the others were too campy and colourful like the 1966 Adam West film and the last two films from the Burton/Schumacher quadrilogy - BATMAN & ROBIN (click here) was the worst of them all. Many movies of the Dark Knight stayed true and come close to the original tone until now. Because of the worldwide phenomenon of THE LEGO MOVIE (click here) that rejoiced younger audiences into playing their Lego versions and sets. While the older audiences and even parents relive their childhood memories of their block building years. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE isn't quite as entertaining as the original movie that spun-off from its success. It definitely has shown a softer side of Batman to young kids that were too young to watch the darker versions. It puts the fewer recent entries like BATMAN V SUPERMAN (click here) into shame.

The voice acting, humour and animation hasn't been largely diminished as the feature would have prided itself to be. Actor/comedian Will Arnett returns to do the voicing of the caped crusader as he clearly enjoys being silly with it unlike George Clooney. Zach Galifianakis voices the Joker as much saner than Jack Nicholson, Jared Leto and the late Heath Ledger's previous interpretations. Michael Cera was enthusiastic as Batman's boy-wonder sidekick Robin. I was very disappointed that a lot of Batman's known rogues gallery were underused. Particularly Two-Face who was voiced once again by Billy Dee Williams. The actor hasn't had a good chance to portray this villain's complex personalities as he only portrayed his good side as Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's BATMAN (click here). But when Tommy Lee Jones took over this character from him and turned it into a comically exaggerated version of Two-Face. The original actor was unneeded until he was on the right track of voicing the character but only for a minimal screen-time. 

Many of the villains that were not from the DC universe were certainly out of place for a movie like LEGO BATMAN. These include -  Lord Voldermort, Sauron, The Daleks, etc shouldn't be added as they should belong only to the other franchises. It's more disappointing that the producers decide not to let Ralph Fiennes return as the dark wizard from the HARRY POTTER series, even though he is busy voicing Alfred.

In my opinion, LEGO BATMAN is probably not the most serious movie in the Batman genre and neither the best. It has many allusions to remind older fanatics that this film self-parodies the image of the masked vigilante. This would be a surprise twist to many viewers who were into Batman. This movie is suitable for all ages.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

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