Review – The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

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the-lego-batman-movie-589d7c0f5d598One of the biggest surprises 2014 had to offer was The Lego Movie, which was just…bizzare enough to be hilarious and surprisingly memorable. It definitely surprised me to learn that they were making a spin-off movie based off of the Batman character, voiced by Will Arnett. The one thing that made the original film so memorable was that the main character wasn’t based on anyone, just a lowly Lego piece. So, the real question is…what really changes when you have a main focus on one of the most iconic characters to grace the screen.

“Bruce Wayne(Batman) is scared of having a family and he has to deal with it when he accidentally adopted Dick Grayson (Robin). After The Joker gets sent to the Phantom Zone, Batman soon finds out it was The Joker’s plan to get sent there and get all the villains in there out. It is Batman and his friend’s job to stop The Joker.”

I’ll say this much, the coolest part of the movie is the sheer amount of shout outs to everything Batman. No variation of Batman that I know, through the TV series and movies, ever had as many shout outs in one place, so that was a big plus. Not so big of a plus was how quick the storyline was to leave my memory since I’ve seen it. Yes, it’s Batman, and yes all of his foes are there, and it’s funny at times, but ultimately forgettable in core spots. Think of how many Batman movies there is today. Think about how many you can remember. Now think about The Lego Batman Movie. 

It’s a perfectly fine kids movie, as I think they did quite a few things right on a technical level, but it isn’t the technical level that ultimately makes something memorable or not. It needs something special that you hold onto for years, and this film just doesn’t have that special quality…but hey, it’s fun, right? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 7/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1

First, we’ll talk about the people category, and thanks to the fact that kids movies usually have a good sense of characters, this is one of the main areas of the film that got things right. The acting was subpar, but that’s to be expected in a film that doesn’t really need acting to be that great. There’s a ton of diverse characters that are all different, all memorable, and all seem to have a separate role to play in the film that ultimately adds to the plot. That being said, I’m pretty sure anyone could have played these characters, other than Batman, of course. Also, there isn’t a lot of chemistry in a movie that really does have underlining messages about needing others and family and whatnot.

WRITING SCORE – 6/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 1|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2

Next up is the writing category, and this is really the reason why the movie is ultimately forgettable. The dialogue is typical animated speech with humor. There’s a lot going on in this movie and far too many characters to call it a balanced story. The story does have messages about family and needing others and how loneliness can make someone grumpy, but believe it or not, a lot of that IS washed out a bit by the cartoony nature of the film. It’s not original for obvious reasons, but hey…it’s interesting!

BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2

The stuff going on behind the scenes, however, was done almost perfectly. The visuals were great, as they did the same basic animated style as The Lego Movie, which when you think about it, is indeed impressive. The editing is always really great with these films, taking into consideration the sheer amount of work is put into making the film work how it does. It was an as-advertised film, and the music, while nowhere near the original film, still stands out. The only thing I’d complain about is the direction of the film, mostly because it struggled with its balance.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 1|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2

The narrative arc was also a near perfect score. Interestingly enough, it was the inciting incident that didn’t get full points while everything else did. That’s because the inciting incident wasn’t evidently clear to me, which everything else was. The introduction introduced us to as many characters as humanly possible. This is a superhero movie, so it’s not hard to guess what the obstacles are, the climax is the culmination of everything, and the falling action was returning to the new norm. Everything was fine, other than the clarity of the inciting incident.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impusle/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 1

How about its entertainment value? Well, I think it’s interesting enough to keep your attention and everything, but that’s about it. I would probably rewatch this movie during a franchise rewatch. I do think it’s a  lot of fun, but it doesn’t suck the audience in nearly as much as it should have. I wouldn’t mind talking to people about this movie because of the Batman shout outs, but I don’t care to talk about anything else. Finally, I neither want to own or buy this film.

TOTAL SPECIAL – 45/50
Family/Kids – 10|Lego Universe – 10|Comedy – 5|Batman – 10|Halfway Decent – 10

Finally, we’re onto the specialty categories that I wrote before seeing the film. First and foremost, this is a kids movie. So is it more for kids or can adults also enjoy it? Honestly, I think this is an effective family film where every age and gender can enjoy something in it. Regarding the fact that this lives in the Lego Movie Universe, how does it do? I think it fits, I think it feels like it belongs, even if it wasn’t as good. How is the comedy? Well, I think that’s mostly touch-and-go, since the jokes didn’t always do it for me. Regarding the movie as a Batman movie, how is this? Well, like I said, other Batman movies are more memorable, but I can’t say this ISN’T a Batman movie. There are far too many shout outs and connections to the character. Finally, is it a halfway decent film? For sure. Kids will like it.

TOTAL – 81/100

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