The LEGO Batman Movie – LEGO Batman seems to have it all. An amazing cave full of totally awesome gadgets; the genius ideas; the perfect 9 pack muscles that mean he can always win. But after hurting the Joker’s feelings, the caped crusader begins to wonder if there shouldn’t be more to life than this? When a new Commissioner decides that Law and Order should come before vigilante justice, and the spurned Joker plots to unleash the most evil bad guys that all worlds have ever known, will the Dark Knight be able to take everything on alone?
The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) – Director: Chris McKay
Running Length: 104 mins
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis
‘THE LEGO BATMAN’ REVIEW
Following on from smash hit ‘The Lego Movie’, DC Comics’ titular character ‘Batman’ has been given his own movie. Much like its predecessor, ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is chock full of tongue-in-cheek kid and teen-speak as well as speed-of-light scene cuts and fast dialogue, making the action so frenetic that by the end of the movie, you tend to feel a little shell-shocked! That, of course, is not to say anything bad about this style of filmmaking, its unusual format may just take a few minutes to get to grips with!
Will Arnett is fantastic as the eponymous hero; the gruff-voiced Batman who believes he is better off alone – until certain people come into his life to make him unsure of his convictions. The dialogue and plot are a little too complex for younger kids and the fast pace may make it difficult for them to follow. However older kids are bound to love it and with lots of references to previous Batman incarnations, DC characters (and LEGO characters in general), plenty of adults will find extra layers of gleeful entertainment to look out for. In LEGO form, The Dark Knight may still be a brooding vigilante but his ridiculous self-aggrandisement and inability to see anything important other than himself makes him a much more comedic figure than the serious, humourless (and quite frankly, dull) character that audiences are used to.
A movie which has the energy and attention span of a toddler may not be appealing to everyone but it’s a format that works well with its target audience and, once the adults get the hang of what they’re watching they are bound to enjoy its fun, irreverent comedy that has a plethora of jokes for every member of the audience.
IS ‘THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
Although every character obviously looks like a LEGO figure, the Joker has a large manic smile with sharp pointy teeth. When the Joker is introduced there is a close up that smash zooms with each word he says showing a very large and threatening grin and the pointed teeth. This may be scary or intimidating for small children, although the character that the Joker is trying to intimidate is not threatened at all, much to the irritation of the Joker.
During a confrontation between the Joker and Batman, they argue about whether or not the Joker is Batman’s greatest villain. The manner of the argument is innuendo for a romantic relationship where one person is into it more than the other (Batman insists that he ‘doesn’t do relationships’). However there is nothing actually romantic about this conversation and the sub-text is likely to be too subtle for children.
In the Joker’s lair there is a guy in the background dancing on a pole and men are throwing dollar bills in the air. However this is minor background detail and only has a few seconds of screen time.
We wouldn’t normally like to spoil a joke (so skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read it!) but when an orphan child is clamouring for Bruce Wayne’s attention he says ‘my name is Richard, but all the children at the orphanage call me ‘Dick’,’ to which Bruce replies, ‘Kids can be cruel’.
When Batman thinks about having lost his parents at a young age the film often slows down and focuses on his upset. This may be upsetting for children in a similar situation or otherwise empathetic kids. However, as Batman has his Batman Cowl on, the actual expressiveness is minimal and the moments pass quickly.
When Robin is trying on costumes he rips off the lower parts of the trousers which makes it look like he doesn’t have anything on his lower half apart from a thong. He then bends over in front of Batman in a comedic moment.
The Joker ends up a prison for a variety of the worst baddies in pop culture. At first they all advance on him with knives and threaten him but the moment passes quickly and this becomes a funny scene.
One character falls from an airplane to the surprise of others. The scene switches to slow-mo and shows other characters being very distressed at what looks like a fatal fall, as the character plummets further away from them. This lasts about a minute and could be very tense and upsetting for a small amount of time.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS ‘THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE’ FOR KIDS?
Awesome, epic, energetic and over-the-top, ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ doesn’t hold back and knows exactly what it wants to be. Due to the dialogue being quite complex and so frenetic, it may not hold the attention of a lot of younger kids. Therefore we recommend this movie for kids aged seven and over although the content itself should be appropriate for children of all ages.
- Violence: 1/5 (a cat is caught in some lava and instantly turns to stone, it doesn’t suffer and, as it is made of LEGO, nothing graphic is seen)
- Emotional Distress: 2/5
- Fear Factor: 1/5
- Sexual Content: 1/5
- Bad Language: 1/5 (some mild, infrequent blasphemy and some mild insults)
- Dialogue: 0/5
- Other Notes: Deals with themes of loneliness, self-importance, the consequences of not caring about the feelings of others, working with an enemy against a common foe, disappointment, orphans, the need to be loved and the pros and cons of vigilantism.
Words by Laura Record