The Lego Batman Movie: Puts a smile back on that face!

While Ben Affleck grapples with his inability to direct another tale of the Dark Knight, Warner Bros and DC Comics give us reason to be happy with the hilarious spin off that is The Lego Batman Movie.

In the universe made up of our favourite interlocking bricks, there’s no situation too serious. Gotham City is going to be blown up? The greatest criminal minds are going to spread mayhem on the lives of poor, innocent civilians? No sweat. The Batman (a devastatingly funny Will Arnett) is here. He, as he puts it in his own ‘super-modest’ words, has incredible reflexes, has aged phenomenally in the last 70 years, and advises orphans to take care of their abs if they want to be like him. And oh, he can beat-box too.

But the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) cannot get his nemesis to acknowledge him as Batman’s No.1 enemy and say those three magical words: I hate you.

“It must be great to be Batman,” a TV anchor reads. Back in his secret lair, the Batman’s closest companions are his supercomputer (Apple’s Siri) and a movie collection that includes Jerry Maguire, Marley and Me and Serendipity. One has to wonder if there has been a greater situational usage of Three Dog Night’s song ‘One is the loneliest number’.

Batman’s father-figure butler Alfred Pennyworth (Ralph Fiennes) thinks it’s time he faced his greatest fear — being part of a family again. He reminds Batman about raising Dick Grayson a.k.a Robin (Michael Cera) who he accidentally adopts while crushing on the city’s new commissioner of police, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson).

There’s not much to be read into the plotline that emphasises on teamwork to tackle problems, just like the earlier movie did. But the reason it all works is undoubtedly the one-liners, self-referencing gags (mostly from Arnett’s gruff Bat-voice), and the burning digs at the more-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (the password to open the Batcave is ‘Iron Man sucks!’). Not to forget the homage paid to the original Adam West series — the Batmobile’s horn is the 1960s na-na-na-na theme; before a punch-up, Batman tells Robin, “words that describe the impact are gonna spontaneously materialise out of thin air.”

Partly why some of the more cheesy jokes work is because the Lego minifigures look naturally laughable with their oversized heads, teeny bodies and fingerless hands. When these elements combine with a script that seems like it’s written by the best of Saturday Night Live talent and a good dose of irreverence à la The Simpsons, very little can go wrong. The folks at DC Comics should probably take note that when things are not exactly rosy at the box office, parody would be one way to keep things awesome.

The Lego Batman Movie

  • Genre: Animation comedy

  • Director: Chris McKay

  • Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera

  • Storyline: Batman returns to the Lego Universe to kick some bad brick butts

  • Bottomline: A laugh-out-loud parody that never falls flat

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 4:35:51 AM |

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