ReelBob: ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’

By Bob Bloom

“The LEGO Batman Movie” is like a child’s toy room, cluttered with games, action figures and knick-knacks scattered everywhere.

This follow-up to 2014’s hit, “The LEGO Movie” is highly entertaining, moves quickly and rivets the youngsters. But, it over-reaches, tossing in too many characters — good and evil — and too many self-referential in-jokes that adults will appreciate. Many, however, may go over the heads of younger viewers.

The pop-culture and comic-book references whiz by at a velocity fast enough to impress The Flash.

Basically, the movie plays off the mythos of Batman being a sullen loner, a no-nonsense vigilante who believes he is the sole guardian of Gotham City.

The movie is a parable about the needs and benefits of family and community — and the drawbacks of excluding others from your life.

This lesson is presented in such a simple way that youngsters will understand the concept.

The movie pits Batman against the Joker — who is very upset and hurt because Batman does not consider him his archenemy.

To extract his revenge on the Caped Crusader, the Joker recruits an army of super villains to not only bring down Batman, but destroy Gotham City.

Despite offers of help from a young orphan named Dick Grayson who admires Batman, the new and attractive police commissioner Barbara Gordon and his faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth, the Dark Knight stubbornly refuses — adamantly determined to go it alone.

Only when catastrophe is near, does Batman see the error of his ways and embrace the concept of teamwork.

As articulated by Will Arnett, Batman is a gravely-voiced, self-centered crime fighter with enough ego to fill the Batcave. He loves the adoration of Gotham’s citizens and refuses to share his glory with anyone.

Despite characters made of LEGOS, this movie has more heart and soul than last year’s “Batman v. Superman: The Dawn of Justice,” and it is much more fun.

Superman and other Justice League members appear in a brief, witty cameo that solidifies Batman’s outsider status.

The movie succeeds in making Batman the butt of several jokes, as well as pointing out the silliness of caped superheroes and the public’s Pavlov-like response to their deeds.

“The LEGO Batman Movie” is a colorful, fast-paced confection that will entertain children and adults. It brings some light to the usually dark DC cinematic universe.

Bob Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at ReelBob (reelbob.com) and Rottentomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom.

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
3 stars out of 4
(PG), rude humor, action

  • ReelBob

    The movie pays homage and spoofs Batman and superheroes at the same time. Share your take on the movie here at ReelBob.