By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
[Warner Bros.; 2017]
It may not have been the Batman movie we wanted, but it was the Batman movie we desperately needed. The LEGO Batman Movie delivers a hilarious yet heartfelt look into what Batman is supposed to be. This movie crushes most of the recent Batman movies. It’s better than Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and arguably The Dark Knight Rises.
The entire essence of the original Batman comics was lighthearted and fun and was meant for kids. Yes, the dark and ominous Batman that we so frequently see was originally meant for kids who enjoy colorful fight scenes and stupidly bad villains like Condiment King and Eggman. Yes, those villains are both canon to Batman, with Condiment King from 1994’s Batman: The Animated Series, and Eggman from the 1966 live action Batman series with Adam West. The LEGO Batman Movie is filled with easter eggs like this, and many others, like Batman’s collection of “trophy bombs” from his missions in the Batcave and things like Shark Repellent.
The best part of this movie is the way that it doesn’t take itself so seriously and makes a joke wherever it can without getting in the way of the plot. Within the first few seconds of the movie, Batman breaks the fourth wall. From that point on, there are jokes, visual gags and references from everything from the Justice League to Batman making lobster in a microwave and eating it alone while sitting in a pool on a floatie. The result is hilarious. There is a joke for everyone.
Even with all the humor and fourth-wall breaking and lobster eating, the movie does what no other Batman movie has done recently, stick to a clear message about who Batman truly is. Batman is lonely, he sits around his mansion and does his vigilante work, and that’s it. By the end of the movie, he changes, eventually facing the reality that his biggest fear is not snake-clowns, but the fear of losing a family again. That’s what Batman has always been about, but no movie has said it as simply or effectively.
The LEGO Batman Movie is for everyone. Take your kids, take your mom, take your boyfriend or girlfriend. They might like it as much as the Batman fanatic sitting in the row in front of you.