Red Hood: …Fine.
Thanks to The Lego Movie, I went into this with confidence. While there’s going to be tons of tie-ins and merchandise, I expect more from a movie that spawned from The Lego Movie. I don’t want a trash film that exists just to sell toys.
This wasn’t that and I liked it. I don’t know if I love it yet. It was a lot of fun with plenty of clever jokes and references. Lots of Bat-history which if you think about it is odd. ALL the live-action movies and cartoons seem to be canon, but Bruce is only now adopting Dick and Batman clearly doesn’t acknowledge Joker as his greatest enemy. I need to see it and The Lego Movie again to really determine which was better though I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the best Batman-related film in 2017.
I really like the direction it took with Lego Batman’s character. In a lot of media, Batman in general is clearly not the nicest guy nor does he treat the people around him very well. I love the self-aware self-reflection he goes through. The slower scenes are some of the best though you can’t tell that from the trailer which promotes the film as fast-paced, actiony, and funny. You’re going to get a lot of that, but the character moments (while cliche and you’ve seen some of them a million times) are the heart and soul of the movie. I’m willing to bet that you’re not going to see another movie handle the character like this or have him learn what he did here.
This Dick Grayson was a huge departure from any I’ve seen. He works just fine here being an orphan for who knows how long. He’s excited to be part of a family. I wish they dropped in a line about his circus roots to explain his skills as they’d seem random to anyone who didn’t know his origin. I don’t know how to feel about the “Nightwing” suit. Him changing into it was somewhat relevant but it didn’t need to be here. Neat for Lego Dimensions but without me recognizing the design (if it was a reference), it seemed unnecessary.
I don’t know how to feel about Jim Gordon being in the movie to pretty much say “See ya!” after the opening act. Then we get Barbara who doesn’t get into her suit until the end but it’s clear that from offscreen feats and offscreen training she’s pretty capable. I was concerned about Bruce being into her but at least she’s old enough to be police commissioner this time. I was having flashbacks to the inferior The Killing Joke film… I don’t think this needed to be here because it doesn’t amount to anything other than Batman eventually calling her his “platonic coworker” which would’ve worked fine as a line with no other context. Don’t know if that was the endgame of his googly eyes, but it was probably a jab at people who put these two together.
I’m really not a fan of Joker’s design. The random fangs/sharp teeth don’t work for me. He got all the focus despite there being tons of other villains which is expected, but a little disappointing. Not a huge fan of the voice either and this isn’t me wishing Mark Hamill had a monopoly on the character. I just wasn’t feeling it as a Joker voice even if the acting, character, and dialogue is fine. I don’t know if down the line anybody’s going to be demanding for Zach Galifianakis to play any other Joker.
They brought back Billy Dee Williams to “reprise” Harvey Dent except this time it’s post-Two Face, something he and I’m sure others were looking forward to. Unfortunately he only gets 2-3 lines, none of which are memorable. I don’t know how to feel about this. It’s too bad he didn’t get Two-Face’d in Burton’s movies so to bring him back is nice. They didn’t have to do that. But then they don’t do anything with Two-Face, so what’s the point?
I didn’t check the voices of all the characters for the same situation, but I did find it odd that Ralph Fiennes is here playing Alfred, but not Voldemort. I mean, he’s right there. It’s not like Lego Voldemort already had a voice actor.
Zod was sent to the Phantom Zone, but doesn’t show up later… Speaking of things not showing up later, the Justice League doesn’t help. The scene in the trailers of Batman running with the League isn’t here. I understand we don’t need the League to overshadow the mains, but I’d have liked a scene of them partying too hard to hear about the action climax.
It’s got a great soundtrack. The original songs are fun and the rest are either quite relevant or just songs I was already aware of so I’m biased.
I blame Lego for this, but give me a Batman Beyond minifigure already. The movie so “subtly” placed it right next to whatever suit was scene-relevant in the Batcave “closet” and even labeled it “Batman Beyond”. Blight, the villain responsible for the death of Terry Mcginnis’ father, was among the villains as well. For all that people complain about too many Batmen in the Lego sets. It’s not that. It’s too many of THE SAME Batman figure. Nobody would complain if it was a Batman based on a certain cartoon or a popular variant suit. Lego’s just being a lazy, cost-cutting punk by using the same Batman figure too much. I’m not against repeats because more access can be good, but the way they do it is too excessive.
Irrelevant rant aside, I liked the movie. Go see it if you’re a Batman fan. Catch the jokes, look for the cameos, and understand those references! The general person should have a good time too. I think they establish Lego Batman’s character just fine and there shouldn’t be any confusion regarding the story, plot, and his character arc. I don’t know if we’re going to get a The Lego Batman Movie 2. It would take a really good idea because this covers a lot of bases. I hope they don’t make a 2 just to have one. Still, it’s nice that someone’s picking up the slack when it comes to well-done fun for a theatrical DC film.