Who would have thought that one of the biggest movies to come out of 2014 would involve everyone’s favorite building blocks, or landmine for bare feet depending on your point view. Yes, The Lego Movie was a massive family hit so of course, a sequel was bound to come out. Today’s movie is a spin off of The Lego Movie, though the only real reference is Batman talking about being a Master Builder. Still, the Lego Batman games are tons of fun to play and since this is a movie involving Legos and Batman, it is bound to be entertaining. So lets see how good it is as I watch today’s movie, The Lego Batman Movie.
The plot: As a plane full of explosives flies over Gotham, Joker and his men board the plane and plan on hijacking it as part of his master scheme. When one of the pilots says that Batman will stop him, Joker explains that he has gathered every villain in Gotham to help with his plan and he has taken out the Bat-Signal, so Commissioner Gordon has no way to contact Batman. Joker meets up with the rest of the villains and uses the explosives to fashion a giant bomb, which they attach to the base of Gotham City Power’s generator, and threatens to blow it up unless the mayor surrenders the city in 5 minutes. Faced with the threat of the explosion destroying the plates that Gotham sits on, sending the city plummeting into the dark abyss, the mayor agrees to meet with Joker but when she gets there, she reveals herself to really be Batman in disguise. Batman begins taking out all of the villains until only Joker is left but as Batman attempts to capture him, Joker says Batman can either capture his greatest enemy or save the city but he can’t do both. Batman tells Joker that he isn’t his greatest enemy, then lets him go so he can make it down to the bomb and disarm it. As the citizens all celebrate Batman saving them, Batman swings by the orphanage to make the orphans happy before heading home. Once he reaches Wayne Manor, Batman pretends to be ok with his life but Alfred calls him out and says that he is afraid of being a part of family but Batman dismisses the idea. Elsewhere, Joker is depressed about Batman not thinking he is his greatest enemy and complaining about how he doesn’t have any competent villains to work with. When he sees an interview with Superman, who had just sent General Zod to the Phantom Zone, he gets an idea. Bruce Wayne attends the retirement gala for Commissioner Gordon and while he is there, he is questioned by Dick Grayson, one of the orphans performing at the ceremony, on how to get adopted. When he sees Barbara Gordon, the new Commissioner, Bruce becomes infatuated and absent-mindedly agrees to adopt Dick. During her speech, Barbara begins telling people that they relied on Batman to stop crime but Gotham is still the most crime-ridden city in the world so she has a plan to take some of Batman’s idea’s and use them in the police force to make them more effective at stopping crime so that they won’t need Batman anymore. Bruce is upset at hearing that but suddenly, Joker and the other villains crash the gala. Bruce slips away and changes into Batman, then builds a robot suit to take on the Joker, getting in the way of Barbara as she starts to lead an assault on the villains, but Joker surprises both of them when he surrenders, and captures the other villains as well. The citizens celebrate the end of crime but Batman, not knowing what to do with his life now, spends days keeping watch on Joker in Arkham. Barbara tries talking to Batman, saying she knows he is up to something as well and that they should work together to stop him, but Batman says Joker is to dangerous to allow free and decides to send Joker into the Phantom Zone. When Batman returns to the Batcave, he finds that Alfred has locked him out of the computer and tells him that he needs to spend time raising his adopted son, which Batman had completely forgotten about. Alfred then allows Dick into the Batcave and he is shocked to learn that Batman lives underneath Wayne Manor. Batman regains access to the computer but finds he is too big to reach the Phantom Zone projector but when he realizes that Dick will fit, he decides to take him with him and allows him to wear one of his old costumes. Batman and Dick make their way to the Fortress of Solitude and Batman plans on distracting Superman while Robin sneaks in and grabs the projector. As Robin sneaks inside, Batman rings the door and when Superman answers it, Batman discovers that they were holding the Justice League Anniversary Party without him. As all of the other heroes are busy having fun, Batman sneaks away and guides Robin through the defenses so he can steal the projector. They then head to Arkham but Barbara catches them as they try to sneak the projector into the asylum. Batman and Robin fight off the guards and make their way to Joker’s cell, where Batman uses the projector on Joker to send him to the Phantom Zone. As Batman celebrates, Barbara locks him and Robin in the cells and says Batman probably gave Joker exactly what he wanted. Inside the Phantom Zone, Joker is met by Phyllis, the Phantom Zone’s warden, who tells him where the other villains are. Joker convinces the other villains to help him but they asks how he is going to get them out of there. Back in Gotham, Harley, who was in disguise, gets the projector and releases all of the villains from the Phantom Zone, including Voldemort, Sauron, King Kong, the Daleks, and the Gremlins. As the villains attack Gotham, Joker learns that Bruce Wayne is Batman and heads to the Batcave and transforms Wayne Manor into Joker Manor. Barbara releases Batman and Robin, saying they need to work together to save Gotham and, joined by Alfred, they work to build a Bat-plane and head towards the manor. Along the way, they are attacked by Gremlins and Batman tries fending them off on his own but Alfred and Robin proceed to help. When Robin and Alfred find themselves in trouble, Batman manages to save Robin but can’t save Alfred, so Barbara pilots the Bat-plane to save him. Batman comes up with a plan and they work together to take out Sauron but as they celebrate, Batman traps them inside the plane and orders the computer to take them out of the city while he continues on alone. When he reaches the Manor, he is confronted by Joker and the other villains and after Batman refuses to call Joker his greatest enemy, Joker sends him to the Phantom Zone, then grabs all of the bombs in the Batcave so they can blow up Gotham. In the Phantom Zone, Phyllis greets Batman and examines him to determine if he is a bad guy and Batman sees how he treated everyone. When he sees that Barbara, Alfred, and Dick had gone back to help him, Batman begs Phyllis to let him go back and save them and when she wavers, he asks for 24 hours to get all of the bad guys back to the Phantom Zone. Phyllis agrees and Batman is able to save his friends, then apologizes for how he acted. He admits that he was scared and says that he needs their help, and he has released the other Gotham villains, who Joker left in Arkham, to help as well. Batman gives Barbara her own suit so she can become Batgirl, and they work out a plan to defeat the Joker. Working together with Gotham’s villains, they grab the projector and start sending all of the villains to the Phantom Zone but the bombs detonate, splitting the plates underneath the city. Batman tries to get everyone to help pull the plates back together but he is unable to do so at first and Joker mocks him. Batman tells Joker that he is the reason that he puts on the suit and Joker, happy to hear Batman admit he is his greatest enemy, helps Batman save Gotham. As the city rejoices, Batman tells Robin that he has to return to the Phantom Zone and after revealing to Robin that he is really Bruce Wayne, he hugs Robin goodbye before heading towards the Phantom Zone. Batman finds himself rejected and Phyllis explains that he changed in order to save everyone, thus making him a good guy. Joker and the other Gotham villains leave and Barbara asks if they are really going to let them leave but Batman says that they will give them a 30 minute head start as the villains are no match for the 4 of them.
The Lego Batman Movie met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise’s winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny — and beautifully animated — family-friendly mayhem.” The movie referenced previous appearances of Batman in both live action and animated films and TV, which was honestly pretty funny, as well as several other film and TV franchises (mostly through their villains). The movie was a box office success, earning $310.9 million off of a $80 million budget.
This wasn’t quite what I expected but this was still a really funny movie to watch. The voice acting was really good, with Will Arnett doing a great job reprising his role as Batman, while Zach Galifianakis (Joker), Michael Cera (Robin), and Rosario Dawson (Barbara) were equally good. The story was a lot better than I thought it would be, as I honestly thought they might just do a full length version of one of the games, and did something that pretty much no other Batman movie has done before; actually give him some character development. The animation was really good and really liked how they mixture of real life and animation, mainly when Batman is watching relationship movies or when they are referencing “that weird phase in the 1966” and I personally found it hilarious that they used the Condiment King in the movie, as that was one of my favorite nonsense villains from the Animated Series. A fun, silly movie to watch no matter how old you are.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5