Reel Geek Review: The Lego Batman Movie

I like most of you readers out there was a huge fan of 2014’s The Lego Movie.  Like moreso than I could have possibly thought possible beforehand.  But great writing, cool animation and a fantastic cast (Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett of course) I was sold, and looked forward to seeing another one.  It’s been three years since then, and while we still don’t have a Lego Movie 2, we have one better for you, a movie all about Lego Batman!

It’s unclear if this is still set in the same world as the first movie, with the kid playing with the toys, but it certainly seems that way, as there are telltale giveaways that the movie is really a kid playing with toys. Namely the pew-pew-pew sounds everyone makes when guns are being fired.  I’m guessing though that this isn’t the same kid as before, as whomever is ‘playing’ with these toys has gotten a lot more versed in comic book knowledge.   We get cameos from such obscure villains as Condiment King, and Egghead in this movie, and references to every Batman property ever just about, so there’s plenty to geek out on for fans of the character.

There’s been a lot of different versions of Batman onscreen over the years, and this movie especially feels like a love letter to everything Bat-related.    Will Arnett’s Batman is as always as clueless and smart as he’s needed to be, because he’s Batman.   The rest of his world is fleshed out by characters such as Rosario Dawson (Clerks 2, Luke Cage)  as Commisioner Barbara Gordon, top of her class at the Harvard for Police, Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim  vs. The World) playing overly enthusiastic orphan Dick Grayson, who eagerly becomes Batman’s sidekick Robin, and Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter franchise) as Alfred.

The whole movie is about Batman’s struggles with his fear of being a part of a family again and dealing with the schemes of The Joker (Zach Galifinakis) who wants to prove to Batman that he’s his true arch nemesis by pulling a whole mess of villains from The Phantom Zone, in a plot not too dissimilar from what was hinted towards the end of cult favorite The Last Action Hero, where the villain wanted to pull all the greatest villains of movie history to take over the world.   So in here Joker’s army is assembled of Lord Voldemort (Eddie Izzard) Sauron, King Kong, some Gremlins, The Wicked Witch Of The West,  a creature that looks like a mashup of  The Kraken from the original Clash of the Titans and Godzilla, and some Daleks for good measure.    I geeked out over all of these, but especially the Daleks.

They throw so many easter eggs for comic book and comic book movie fans as well, such as a few references to last year’s Suicide Squad including Killer Croc putting a bomb underwater saying “I did something!” which was the one thing he really did in the movie.  And Batman saying “What are we going to do, get a team of criminals to stop the criminals?  That’s dumb.”   And one of my favorite easter eggs, the 70s, 80s Joker logo, which shows up on a few things throughout the film.   I also had a geekout moment in the Fortress of Solitude scene, there was not only a comic book accurate entrance to the Fortress, but the look of the  Richard Donner movie version, and The Justice League along with Superfriends characters The Wonder Twins, Apache Chief, and more partying it up with Superman (Channing Tatum) and Green Lantern (Jonah Hill).  It was amazing to see.  If you loved the last Lego movie, or if you just love Batman you owe it to yourself to see The Lego Batman Movie.  It’s the most fun I’ve had watching a movie this year so far.  And I need to watch it again to see if there’s more easter eggs I missed.

Final Grade- A


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