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Humor and psychology interlock in ‘Lego Batman’

By: - Writing Editor / @InqEnt
/ 12:30 AM February 17, 2017
Batman and Robin

Batman and Robin

The “Lego Batman Movie,” spinning off from 2014’s “The Lego Movie,” is an animated comedy-action film that irreverently parodies the Dark Knight’s various mythologies—while offering a unique and solid take on the quintessential human superhero.

This particular universe, colorfully populated by Lego versions of Gotham City’s denizens, imaginatively explores the costumed crimefighter’s nature—so we learn new things that aren’t always focused on in the more serious live-action movies.

For instance, Bruce Wayne’s reclusive nature and his hesitation with becoming close to others are humorously tackled, enlightening quite nicely. “Lego Batman” is also therapeutic for the Caped Crusader (voiced by Will Arnett)—it’s like the hero-philanthropist visited the shrink while dealing with his freaky foes, and we get a much better understanding of his unusual personality as a result!

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The adventure, like “The Lego Movie,” is able to utilize the uniqueness of the interlocking construction blocks. Almost every scene is a wondrously busy mosaic of playful designs. And the human figures’ limited articulation even adds to the charm.

In this iteration, Batman reluctantly adopts an orphan, Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), upon the insistence of his concerned butler, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). But his arch-nemesis, Joker (Zach Galifianakis) is characteristically up to no good, planning something different for his longtime foe.

Joker

Joker

The Chris McKay film hilariously and easily pokes fun at the darkness and contrasting absurdities inherent in the Batman concept, as well as some of the live-action films that came before it—there’s a reference to Prince’s song from the 1989 “Batman” movie soundtrack during a scene with the Joker; Adam West’s 1960s show is mentioned and referred to a couple of times, and so on.

Like in “The Lego Movie,” this film has cool mini-crossovers involving characters from different franchises, including Voldemort (from “Harry Potter”), the bad Mogwai (from “Gremlins”) and the alien Daleks (from “Doctor Who”), to name a few. The mixing of realities and the comedic psychoanalysis of Batman work quite well—fans of DC’s superheroes who are welcoming of a lighter take on the characters will enjoy it, if they don’t already love it to pieces!

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