An interesting phenomenon in movies of the past ten years is that of the well-written children’s genre movie. It’s hard to find a so-called children’s movie without finding a few jokes for the adults in the theatre or without coming across with politically-relevant themes that aren’t cliché. Hollywood actors, writers and comedians have caught onto this trend and it can be weird to see a comedian make a name for themselves with ejaculation jokes and then voice a talking dog in a new Disney animated spin-off (see: Secret Life of Pets). Just like the first Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie was filled with pop culture references, cleverly hidden sex jokes and meta-humour.
The Lego Batman Movie follows our winged protagonist as he comes to terms with the fact that Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, Barbara Gordon, is taking over the position and her new plan makes the caped crusader obsolete. He is considered a reckless threat to the city rather than a benefit. Meanwhile, to gain Batman’s respect as his worst enemy, the Joker releases all the bad guys of every Lego universe. In order to defeat this challenge, Gordon, Batman and the police force must work together as a team.
What makes this movie shine is its wealth of performances and cameos by comedians. Each of the actors for the main five characters gave specific, individually interesting and funny performances as Batman (Will Arnett), Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), Robin (Michael Cera), Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) and the Joker (Zach Galifianakis). Additionally, this film featured dozens and dozens of cameos by well-known comedians for what seems like one or two lines each. Conan O’Brien, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Doug Benson, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, etc. The list goes on.
If I were to watch this movie again, I would listen closely to everything said in each crowd scene. This movie is densely packed with jokes and it’s easy to miss a great deal of them if you’re too focused on the symplistic story. Enjoy the ride and appreciate the meta-humour on every level from overt (when the characters shoot guns, they say ‘pew, pew’) to subtle (the fact that they have a Voldemort character played by Eddie Izzard in a movie starring Ralph Fiennes). This movie is a fun time from start to finish.
-Luke Webster, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor