When the announcement was made that there was to be a Lego movie I was cynical. How could you possibly turn a toy like Lego into a movie? In what world would such a move make sense? As history now shows my cynicism was ill founded to say the least. The Lego Movie was a delight filled with a message of creativity and stepping away from the instructions that are sometimes needlessly enforced. Tucked away within this gem was an icon (in Lego form) and an unexpected hit Lego Batman. Voiced by Will Arnett he was one of the stand out characters brining much humour and emo rock to screens.
Inevitably then the feedback and fandom meant that a Lego Batman movie was announced and with much excitement I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening last weekend. With my trusty girl wonder/ daughter in toe we settled down ready for laughs, entertainment and more.
Gotham (in Lego form) is once again under attack from The Joker and as always it’s up to Batman to save the day and face his greatest foe once more. Initially the best laughs are found in this very idea as Batman is reluctant to commit to his nemesis insisting that he often ‘fights other people’.
This sense of humour is relentless throughout and in fact the opening 10-15 minutes of the film are genuinely laugh a minute and one of my favourite opening sequences in recent memory. With nods to various Batman tropes down the years and the ridiculous nature of some plot lines the tone is set from early on. Why would you fly a plane filled with explosives and weaponry over the most dangerous city in the world?
The self-deprecating nods and winks to Batman down the years are the films’ strong suit and for me, brought the most joy. The swipes taken at the Bane character voice in Tom Hardy’s Dark Knight Rises are subtle but done with great aplomb. Not of rone moment did I think that watching Batman attempting to find the correct input on his TV would make me laugh so hard. However, this in some way sums up the film perfectly in what is a surreal and yet relatable moment. My daughter on the other hand found her laughs in butt jokes and Robin ripping off his clothes to get into costume at a moment’s notice.
The film though is much more than a simple just for laughs affair. A look at Batman’s loneliness and his refusal to work with people gives young audiences an opportunity to consider the joy to be found in co-operation. While this is often done with humour, the intent cannot be under estimated and shows the great heart at the core of this venture.
If I wanted to be picky about this Lego adventure I would say that 10 minutes or so could be shaved from the inevitable crash, bang, wallop finale that feels a little baggy but overall the laughs outweigh my mild annoyance!
When I was a kid I found hours of joy in playing with Lego. Turns out in 2017 with the Lego Batman Movie I can find hours of joy in watching Lego too!
The Lego Batman movie is on general release from 10th February.
Thanks to MovieHouse for screening access.