Mar. 7th, 2017

Lego Batman

Mar. 7th, 2017 06:06 am
osprey_archer: (cheers)
Over the weekend Becky and I watched Lego Batman, which is awesome, you guys, AWESOME, super funny. It kicks off with Batman voiceover (in Christian Bale voice, of course) right over the opening - “DC. The house that Batman built,” he intones. “Yeah, what Superman? Come at me bro. I’m your kryptonite.”

Superman, as Batman informs the Joker, is his worst enemy. The Joker is horrified and terribly jealous. “Superman’s not a bad guy!” he cries. Batman can only shrug. “You mean nothing to me,” he tells the Joker, and the Joker’s plastic Lego eyes brim with tears, and it’s at once hilarious and rather sad.

In fact quite a bit of this movie is hilarious and yet rather sad, which is I guess my favorite kind of comedy.

Case in point: Batman’s Epic Brooding. There’s a great sequence near the start where he’s going through the vast and echoing Batcave, up the Batelevator to warm up his lobster thermidor in the microwave and watch a romantic comedy all by himself in his itty bitty personal movie theater, which has proper movie theater seats and everything, and he comes to his favorite line in the movie and looks around as if he wants someone to laugh with… and no one is there.

I think what makes this movie so good is that the filmmakers poke fun at Batman’s excesses, but at the same time you feel that they really do like and feel for the character. They’re making fun of the Grand Emo Trappings of his loneliness, not the loneliness itself.

And they’ve clearly watched every adaptation ever, some with love and some with loving derision. When Batman is getting particularly emo as he stares at a picture of his dead parents (standing, naturally, in front of Crime Alley), Alfred sighs and says, “Sir, I have seen you go through similar phases in 2016 and 2012 and 2008 and 2005 and 1997 and 1995 and 1992 and 1989 and that weird one in 1966,” with a montage of the aforesaid movies, ending with Adam West doing a bizarre Batman dance.

(I kind of adore the 1960s Batman. It’s just so ludicrous and endearing.)

Another highlight - this movie is full of highlights; I really recommend it - Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Robin, the orphan Batman adopts by accident because he’s not paying attention with Dick talks to him at a gala: Dick is all “Do you want to adopt me?” and Bruce Wayne, staring at Barbara Gordon, is all “Yeah yeah sure.”

Naturally Dick moves into Bruce Wayne’s house the very next day, because it’s not like there’s any paperwork or anything when you adopt an orphan. Batman wants to get rid of him, but then he is faced with a mission which would require a small gymnast (which Dick just happens to be!) who is also “110% expendable” - “I don’t know what that means, but sure!” Dick cries, so eager is he for Batman’s approval.

The film’s one flaw is that it is so, so, so heavy-handed with its message. Alfred, Barbara Gordon, and Dick Grayson all repeatedly tell Batman that he needs FAMILY and HUMAN CONNECTION. It’s like the writers confused “Show, don’t tell,” with “Show and tell,” because they show us Batman’s loneliness and then they tell us tell us tell us tell us that he needs to combat it with friendship and love. And then tell us again. Okay, we get it already. Let's get back to the Joker making meta comments on the nature of the Batverse again.

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