Friday, February 10, 2017


Opening this weekend:

The Lego Batman MovieEven though I never had Legos as a kid, nor played with them as an adult, I enjoyed 2014’s The Lego Movie and A Lego Brickumentary. I think I liked this cubist take on the Caped Crusader best of all, however.

Directed by Chris McKay from a script by, among other hands, Seth Grahame-Smith of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, it’s a highly observant spoof of the sort of turgid, self-important superhero epics that have, for me, taken a lot of the fun out of the genre. Batman, growled here, as in The Lego Movie, by Will Arnett, is a vain loner, obsessed with his “nine-pack” abs, and opposed to letting anyone help him with, or share the glory of, his exploits. Partly this is ego, but he also can’t bear the idea of personal attachments of any kind—he watches Jerry Maguire and cackles loudly at the line “You complete me.”

He even wounds the feelings of Lego Joker (Zach Galifianakis) by refusing to admit that, as enemies, the two of them share something special. In response the Clown Prince of Lego Crime hatches a magnum opus scheme against Lego Gotham City, involving not only the DC stable of villains but…

Well, I shouldn’t give away too much more. Suffice to say that Lego Robin (Michael Cera), Lego Batgirl (Rosario Dawson), Lego Superman (Channing Tatum) and Lego Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) all get involved in the story, among many other classic characters. The gags are obsessively detailed and fly by at furious speed, yet somehow, maybe because of the geometrical nature of the figures, the action remains more lucid and coherent than it is in many of the movies being sent up here.

Better still, unlike many of the targets of its parody, it clocks in at well under two hours.

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