Lego Batman The Movie : DC Super Heroes Unite

Batman. I really like Batman. So it was with some trepidation that I sat down to watch the Lego Batman movie. Pinpointing the source of this trepidation is difficult. The Lego movie was brilliant, Batman is amazing, there doesn’t seem like much that can go wrong with the combination. The issue though was that the Lego movie relied heavily on its meta-this is controlled by human/creativity is good storyline, and this is essentially something which can only be done once. I was wondering just how they were going to play this. Well, the first thing to note is that the film works, its really good fun, the story bumbles along nicely and the film makers have really managed to carry on performing that special trick of making Lego characters engaging. This is what is confusing for the first half an hour though, the fact that it is Lego Batman, rather than just Batman, doesn’t seem to make the slightest bit of difference. No one does anything specifically ‘lego-ey’. It is all made far more confusing by the go to Batman reference point being the 89/97 Batman quadrilogy, its like the Nolan trilogy has not happened, until a hokey and overly self aware Joker fails to blow up a building on the first try, a la the brilliant hospital scene in The Dark Knight. Its like the fun mash up Lego-ness has morphed out of the bricks and into a confusing (but exciting) plethora of cultural references. Brilliant fun, but the question remains, why does this need to be Lego at all? Unfortunately it remains that these films are there to sell the games which may or may not be there to sell the actual, physical Lego, who knows which makes the company more money, and the tie in for DC comics is nothing short of marketing genius. As the film progresses the Lego element does become more pronounced, things get rebuilt and re-arranged, a pretty brilliant costume change involving whole legs and torsos occurs and the Green Lantern shows up, a character whose power seems to cohere so well with the concept of Lego that its a wonder the movie we saw in the cinema wasn’t based around him entirely. Its a good movie, fun, interesting and just self aware enough to have something for die hard Bat fans as well as, well, people who like Lego I guess, but no matter how good it is it will never escape the fact that it exists really to sell something else.

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