The Lego Batman Movie comes at a time when we were originally expecting the second Lego Movie, but with that one now not due for release until February 8th 2019 (coming five years after the original The Lego Movie), there’s a slew of other Lego movies to come in the meantime, starting with Batman, and continuing with The Lego Ninjago Movie in October, just in time for that half-term holiday… and no doubt others before 2019 comes around.
Batman loves to save the day, but he’s very much a lone wolf, and as The Blues Brothers taught us, everybody needs somebody to love… or at least have as a friend, so on the way, he’ll learn the value of friendship… kinda. Don’t worry, it’s not slushy American tripe.
There’s plenty of laughs, even though if a good number of them were in the trailers – if you saw as many as I did, so this is a well-written film; and it’s also very self-referential, even in the opening credits. I won’t detail the jokes here as that would spoil the fun, but I’ll just make mention of the Joker and his crew hijacking a plane and the pilot not being in the least bit scared because it’s a well-known fact that Batman always stops him!
The plot, such that it is, finds Batman (Will Arnett on top form) as a man who’s busy at work, but lonely at home, and not partying all night long, like the public seem to think. Before long, he has to attend Jim Gordon’s retirement party, but With Barbara Gordon taking over as commissioner, she lays down the law – literally, stating that Batman can’t continue on his lone vigilante ways, and must team up with her and everyone else in law enforcement and be accountable for a change.
Aan unlikely situation leads to a lack of crime , but despite all that, Batman wants to throw the Joker into the Phantom Zone, where he learns Superman just launched General Zod and his associates, a la Superman II.
Amongst the humour, there are also some decent heartfelt moments – even between Batman and The Joker!
Unfortunately, there’s also Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror… not a great song, I find, but it still gave me some laughs… Can you spot where it first comes in? I did.
In fact, when it comes to songs, while The Lego Movie had Everything Is Awesome as its catchy tune, this one also has songs from Batman and Robin, respectively, but I can’t remember them offhand.
With a U-certificate, this is the perfect film to take your family to over the February half-term holidays, and screen 1 at Vue Lowry is almost as big as the Batcave…
The film is available in both 2D and 3D. I saw it in 3D, but having seen the original movie in 3D on Blu-ray, they did make a great job of the format and I can see where this one will also benefit. In addition, for any scenes in 2D where you have characters in both the foreground and background, the latter will be partially out of focus, like a normal camera would be when it’s focussing on the foreground ones, but generally in a 3D animation, the latter will be rendered in focus but set further back. For 2D, it’s the only way they can do it AND look natural… as natural as Lego characters look.
At 104 minutes, it could do with losing a bit of time. Yes, it’s good and very funny, but it does slow down at times and get a bit baggy, so around 90 mins max should be the case for a film like this.
And I haven’t gone into detail about my end credit adventures, but the same situation is continuing… sometimes. When I saw Split and T2 Trainspotting, the lighting during the end credits came on, but never went above the same as the pre-film trailers/adverts (approx 30% of brightness). This was fine, as it didn’t impact on the screen, and it only went up above that after the film and credits had completely finished (the same as when you walk in). I thought the problem was resolved. But today, the original problem had returned and it was back up to around 50% during the end credits (so it intrudes on the screen).
Obviously, during the film, the lights drop down to zero (i.e. they’re off), but last time I tried to contact Head Office about this, who make these decisions, I was told the flourescent lights at the sides of the room cannot change their brightness in any way whatsoever, so while I don’t think they’ve quite grasped the question, the answer occasionally seems to happen. Perhaps it was a one-off today, since the lights have worked out fine with those previous two films, so I think I’ll wait until the next film I see before working out if today was a one-off.
Book tickets for The Lego Batman Movie at Vue Cinemas.
Running time: 104 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Cinema: Vue, Lowry, Salford Quays
Released: February 10th 2017
Director: Chris McKay
Producers: Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Screenplay: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington
Music: Lorne Balfe
Batman / Bruce Wayne: Will Arnett
Robin / Dick Grayson: Michael Cera
Batgirl / Barbara Gordon: Rosario Dawson
Alfred Pennyworth: Ralph Fiennes
The Joker: Zach Galifianakis
Harley Quinn: Jenny Slate
Scarecrow: Jason Mantzoukas
The Riddler: Conan O’Brien
Bane: Doug Benson
Two-Face: Billy Dee Williams
Catwoman: Zoë Kravitz
Clayface: Kate Micucci
Poison Ivy: Riki Lindhome
Voldemort: Eddie Izzard
King Kong: Seth Green
Sauron: Jemaine Clement
Phyllis: Ellie Kemper
Superman: Channing Tatum
Green Lantern: Jonah Hill
The Flash: Adam Devine
Jim Gordon: Hector Elizondo
Mayor McCaskill: Mariah Carey