The Lego Batman Movie
I do not believe any movie in recent memory has managed to piss me off as much as The Lego Batman Movie.
“Aw, man – it’s a kids’ movie!”
Really? That’s your comeback? Then I suppose all those inside jokes about Suicide Squad were inserted to intentionally fall on deaf ears since kids could not get in to see that one? Or maybe the illuminating lightning from directly off the cover of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is there because the graphic novel resonates with six-year-old admirers? Or kids who play with Legos are so culturally astute these days to immediately recognize King Kong? Or Gremlins? Or is that Death Race 2000 homage where the Batmobile plows down a granny on a walker considered so iconic for the pre-K crowd?
The Lego Batman Movie is targeted at sulking, pear-shaped fanboy fucktards, and that pisses me off even more, because for a fan-based film, its source material should come into play to the extent that outside characters are not necessary! Instead of King Kong, why isn’t Gorilla Grodd or the Gorilla Boss of Gotham used? Rather than Gremlins, where’s Bat-Mite? DC’s Manhunters are every bit as formidable as the Daleks!
And so if this movie is aimed at comic book fans, or Batman movie fans, then pray tell, what’s the benefit to negating Bob Kane’s 78-year history of this character whom we are told in the opening voiceover built DC Comics?
The Batman is the consummate loner. Yet incoming police commissioner Barbara Gordon scolds the Dark Knight detective for his self-reliance, claiming that “it takes a village” to keep Gotham safe! OK, maybe so, but that’s Batman’s call because he’s the guy who has to stand against the Mayor, he’s been hunted by both law enforcement and drooling Arkham psychos who murdered his sidekick, and the only reason it’s brought into this movie (besides the Hillary Clinton reference) is to give the proceedings some sort of theme.
The Lego Batman Movie has no plot!
Instead of conflict resolution, we’re offered a psychological struggle to discredit the hero. Whether or not Batman can accept the assistance of others is a rudimentary assessment of his character that could be integrated into the framework of some larger story, but it’s not a plotline that’s going anywhere!
Considered “the world’s greatest detective,” to such an extent that he’s been teamed with Sherlock Holmes, Batman solves mysteries. Legos are building blocks which, like mysteries, must fit together. That connection is ignored.
So what I find more objectionable about The Lego Batman Movie is how it sullies the character’s stature, making him part of the crowd. It’s one thing to ridicule Bruce Wayne as a philandering playboy, arrogant and self-centered; it’s something altogether reprehensible to do the same to Batman.
Furthermore, the movie falls victim to one of the oldest tricks around: equating good with evil. The Hollywood commies tried this ploy constantly in films such as Abraham Polonsky’s Force of Evil, equating businessmen with criminals! One contributes to society, the other plunders society. Yet in The Lego Batman Movie, it’s suggested that Batman and the Joker are linked by purpose, requiring one another to exist! This serves to blur the distinction between good and evil for all those junior moviegoers in attendance. What’s being ignored is that Batman is not a psychopath, he is the response to psychopaths. I’ve always detested moral equivalency: “If we kill him, we’re no better than he is!” What a load of crap!
Not even close, because the criminal perpetuated an injustice against an innocent individual. Our response is to a lawless act!
The Lego Batman Movie is trash, and not even really good trash.
Of its positive attributes, it mentions more than a couple of heavy hitters, focusing on Clayface, an under-used villain in the DC Universe. The movie brings attention to the Super Friends ’70s/’80s animated TV show, uses the Neil Hefti theme song to the ‘60s Batman TV series, and actually mentions the Zebra-Man from a January 1960 issue of Detective Comics!
And my favorite line in the entire movie comes from an innocent bystander who, while facing obliteration and chaos, comments, “I’m gonna start looting!”
Now that is funny!