Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars

Bottom Line: An entertaining enough addition to the LEGO universe. Contains plenty of Moments inside an ok story.

It’s hard to fill the shoes of “The LEGO Movie” and “The LEGO Batman Movie” just can’t do it.  In many ways this is unfair.  “The LEGO Movie” was lightning in a bottle that somehow made an hour and a half commercial both meaningful and enjoyable.  But comparisons are inevitable and “The LEGO Batman Movie” is like the son that you’re still proud of, but your other son is Barack Obama.

The movie itself is very good at creating Moments, just like its predecessor was.  There are all sorts of side gags and obscure references and plays on words to the point that if you’re not paying attention, you’ll likely miss them.  A fun time could be had discussing the Moments you remember vs the Moments your friends remember.  The story is kind of blah, though, so there’s not the coherence of Moments like there was in the original.  Add to that action sequences that are a little too visually loud and you get a meh movie.  Despite that, the voice acting was wonderful, including Will Arnett (Batman), the lovable loser Michael Cera (Robin), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl), and Ralph Fiennes (Alfred).  Really, the only acting miss was Zack Galifianakis as Joker, which at times was good, but at others seemed a little awkward.  But then again, everyone will always complain about anyone who is not Jack Nicholson or Heath Leger or Mark Hamill playing Joker.  Come to think of it, it would have been funny if Galifianakis switched between the three of them and had Batman comment on it.

“The LEGO Batman Movie” is a fun enough movie and still worth seeing, but again, you can only impress people so much when your brother is Barack Obama.  If you haven’t seen the original, watch this one first and I think your enjoyment will go farther.  This movie is still good for kids who I think will like it more than adults will so plop your couch potatoes in front of the TV and go do some gardening or something else sowing related while they’re being entertained.

In “only in Hollywood” news, I saw the movie while in LA visiting my friend and assistant editor extraordinaire, Sally O’Brien.  She is friends with Ben Murphy who was the assistant editor on “The LEGO Batman Movie” and he invited a bunch of people to see the movie with him.  So I got to see the movie with Sally and Ben and a bunch of other movie biz folk.  It was a wonderful experience and you should immediately hire both Ben and Sally for all your assistant editing needs.