Thursday, February 23, 2017

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE -- My bat review

It was nice seeing Batman without Christopher Nolan or Zack Snyder there to turn him into a dark brooding tortured soul. Instead we get the more Donald Trump version. He thinks he can save the world all by himself, he hurts other peoples’ feelings, he never wants to share credit, and he thinks he alone has all the good ideas. The difference is you like this Donald Trump. Or at least tolerate him.

This sequel to the LEGO MOVIE has the same dizzying amount of stimuli coming at you, but it doesn’t have the same writers and suffers somewhat as a result. That is if you can stop to take a breath and compare. I appreciate their desire to fill every frame with as much as possible and cram in as many jokes, pop culture references, and silliness as they can, but after awhile it gets to be overkill. And the trouble with that is some real great jokes get lost in the relentless tornado.

MAD Magazine frequently does that, filling every inch of space with gags. But MAD Magazine you can read at your leisure. You can savor every hidden laugh. But this movie, at least for me, felt like I was watching a 90 minute version of THE BIG BANG THEORY opening title sequence.

Certainly there is the desire to constantly entertain, but it’s okay to slow down and take a breath once in awhile. I know the thought is that Millennials have no attention spans and must be distracted every second or they’ll get bored and will play the LEGO BATMAN VIDEO GAME on their phones while watching the LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, but I think Hollywood is doing Millennials a disservice. If the story is good they’ll get into it, if the jokes are funny they’ll laugh. Even at a normal pace.   But when everything is a wild chase scene, the real chase scenes don’t carry the same wallop.

Slowing the action from time to time allows the audience to recharge, get their second and third winds. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is brimming with ideas and like I said, there are many wonderful moments and snappy lines. I just think it would please more if it tried to please less.

Before the film, they showed the
trailer for a new LEGO NINJA MOVIE. I’ll be skipping that. I’m waiting for THE LEGO TWIN PEAKS MOVIE.

17 comments :

Mike said...

This animated film seems to be CGI, which is a massive cop-out. Why isn't it stop-start animation with Lego figurines and buildings & objects made from Lego bricks? Admittedly, the actors would have limited range, but then - this is Hollywood.

I see the Lego Trump Film as more of a slapstick comedy in which our *cough* hero *cough* constantly falls head-first into a cement mixer or heavy machinery. Would sell a lot of tickets.

I'm waiting for Lego Art House Film, hopefully Bergman.

Peter said...

Ken, you totally summed up my reaction to this. I did laugh a lot, but it was so relentless, I literally felt exhausted by the end of the movie. I'd been looking forward to it since the first teaser, and while it's certainly a good movie, I did feel disappointed because it could have been so much better if it had been less frantic and also shorter by about 20 minutes (animated movies should not be 100 minutes. 80 minutes tops).

The main strength of the movie is in how self-consciously seriously this Batman takes himself. It yields a lot of humour, even from the way he provides a running commentary on the opening company logos and how "all great movies start with a black screen".

One thing that surprised me was that, given how large the Batman universe of characters is, they included a whole bunch of characters from other franchises, like Sauron from Lord of the Rings, the Daleks from Doctor Who and Voldemort from Harry Potter. It just felt out of place and made an already bloated movie even more crowded.

I hope for the sequel they calm down a bit, make it a leaner, more restrained movie, which will result in a funnier and more satisfying flick.

john not mccain said...

Oh please god let them do a Lego Twin Peaks movie!

Pizzagod said...

Coincidentally, I saw this yesterday and I agree that they wouldn't have suffered by slowing the pace a bit. I also agree that the visuals were pretty darn impressive, and while it wasn't as lego-intense as the Lego movie, it was pretty deep. Lots of background, lots to see here.

As a Batman follower for the better part of six decades, I thought that they "got" the character, while not dwelling on the "war" or the brooding.

I enjoyed it, and now am hungry for Lobster Thermidor.

Demos Euclid said...

As someone who falls on the older outskirts of the millennial generation, I had many of the same issues with The Lego Movie. It’s as if the studio has been plagued with such a great fear of the shorter attention spans of the younger generation that it resorts to fill every frame with an incessant bombardment of content – all punchlines without the build up.

Reminds me of a screening I held last year for a few younger friends that had never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark only to be dumbfounded by comments that it was too slow-paced!

ninja3000 said...

This picture is for Millennials? I would have thought it was for the Millennials' youngest children...

VP81955 said...

If millenials' parents had possessed no attention span, "Police Squad!" would've been a smash hit on TV, instead of having to wait until being converted into the "Naked Gun" film series.

AlaskaRay said...

I'm waiting for LEGO Boogle Nights.

Alan C said...

How about LEGO Beaches?

blinky said...

Beyond your excellent points I think there are two things they left out in this Lego movie that made the first one so good:
1. In the first movie they made EVERYTHING out of Legos, including water, fire and smoke. In this one they caved to regular CGI smoke and water.
2. No human involvement. The big pay off in the first movie was the gag that it was an actual Lego set in a guys basement. I thought there was a great opportunity to add the human touch when they had the reference to the city being on a flimsy board that could collapse into a bottomless void. I thought for sure when the city started to tear apart they would go out to the real world basement and have the kid fix the crack. That would have been cool.

John Hammes said...

Nice to know that, at least, this Lego movie stacks up.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

Just saw this on Monday w/the family- my wife said the same thing: Batman talks like Donald Trump. I can see that, but . . . .
Anyway, I liked it but I thought the movie reeked of Deadpool- the rated G version of course. Lots of 4th wall breaking, 3rd person references, taking shots at Marvel characters, etc.

Later, --LL

Dixon Steele said...

I saw it yesterday and enjoyed it, but it obviously didn't have the novelty of the original. And, yeah, it was a bit much at times.

But let's face it, this movie was made for a younger audience. Not exactly known for their great attention spans.

And I agree, the LEGO NINJA promo wasn't promising...

Myles Warden said...

I agree. I LOVED IT and it's a rare throws so many GREAT jokes and references at you. Not just animated but period. Definitely looking forward to the next one. I feel like the visuals were for the younger kids and many of the jokes and references were for adults so they had to keep things moving and slightly "busy."

Pseudonym said...

THE LEGO CARNIVALE MOVIE

Astroboy said...

I'll wait for the LEGO My Eggo flick.

john Adam said...

I was finding for The LEGO Batman Movie First Teaser Trailer and i just full Watch online movie trailer on your blog and i found your Article quite interesting that you are running this movie blog which is really amazing good job keepu pdating...!