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The LEGO Batman Movie Parent Guide
Parents and older teens will likely find plenty to laugh at in this animation -- but you might want to leave the littlest ones at home..
In this LEGO animation, the super hero (voice of Will Arnett) is facing the challenges of balancing his time between being Batman: crime fighter and Bruce Wayne: adoptive father.
Release date February 10, 2017
Run Time: 105 minutes
Official Movie Site
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The guide to our grades, parent movie review by rod gustafson.
The LEGO Batman Movie poses an interesting question within its opening minutes: Would we need good guys, that is superheroes, if we didn’t have bad guys? Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) is quite comfortable saving Gotham City singlehandedly. But when his usual nemeses The Joker (voice of Zach Galifianakis) surprises him by surrendering himself to Gotham City police, Batman is out of a job.
Of course, the lipstick fiend has ulterior motives. Playing with Batman’s vanity he manages to amass an army of other evil villains and attack the city. He also has a personal vendetta to pursue with the Dark Knight.
Fixing Batman’s narcissistic is tendencies the primary target of this film’s moral objective. His ego gets in the way of forming sincere relationships, as well as accepting help from others. These characteristics will be challenged after he falls in love with the new police commissioner (voice of Rosario Dawson), unwittingly agrees to adopt an obsessively admiring boy (voice of Michael Cera), and listens to his butler Alfred’s (voice of Ralph Fiennes) fatherly counsel.
Themes of teamwork may also be a little confusing to children when possible allies include a legion of criminals who aren’t quite as bad as the really, really bad dudes that align with The Joker. Yes, this isn’t the only movie on screens with fifty shades of grey, and parents should be prepared to discuss the good and bad traits that exist in all of us.
Although sight gags, like young Robin pulling his pants off, will keep kids amused, most of the humor here comes from sarcastic cultural references, decades of Batman depictions and other iconic characters. Parents and older teens will likely find plenty to laugh at, but you might want to leave the littlest ones at home.
The lego batman movie rating & content info.
Why is The LEGO Batman Movie rated PG? The LEGO Batman Movie is rated PG by the MPAA for rude humor and some action.
Violence: Characters are in perilous situations throughout the film. Although the action is not graphic in its depictions, it still includes threats from bombs, explosions, imprisonment, reckless driving/flying, fist-fights, falling from heights, weapon use, vehicle crashes and property destruction.The distinction between “bad guys” and “good guys” is blurred when the heroes behave unkindly and less-nasty villains turn against more evil villains.
Sexual Content: Some mild sexual innuendo and rude terms (like “butt”) are heard. Infrequent potty words and humor are included. Characters are seen in their underwear when they change their clothes.
Profanity: No real profanities or terms of deity are used, but characters do exclaim copy-cat words such as “heck” and “gosh”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Social drinking is portrayed, and a couple of alcoholic beverages are mentioned.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
The LEGO Batman Movie Parents' Guide
Although Batman is a superhero, he does have a weakness. What is it? How does his ego sometimes cause him to behave like a bad guy instead of a good guy?
What is the relationship between heroes and villains? Can you have one without the other? What would a good guy do if there were no bad guys to chase? What kind of a world would we live in if no one was trying to thwart evil? How does this movie poke fun at the interconnectedness of these opposing forces?
Batman says he works alone. What are some of the problems with his policy? Why is teamwork more effective than a single person’s best efforts? What things happen in this film to help this superhero understand that principle?
News About "The LEGO Batman Movie"
From the Studio: In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. Will Arnett reprises his starring role from “The LEGO Movie” as the voice of LEGO Batman, aka Bruce Wayne. Zach Galifianakis (“Muppets Most Wanted,” the “Hangover” films) stars as The Joker; Michael Cera (TV’s “Arrested Development”) as the orphan Dick Grayson; Rosario Dawson (TV’s “Daredevil”) as Barbara Gordon; and Ralph Fiennes (the “Harry Potter” films) as Alfred.
The most recent home video release of The LEGO Batman Movie movie is June 13, 2017. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: The LEGO Batman Movie Release Date: 13 June 2017 The LEGO Batman Movie releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy, or Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following extras: - Original Animation Shorts (Dark Hoser, Batman is Just Not That Into You, and Cooking with Alfred) - Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That? - The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short - Deleted Scenes - One Brick at a Time: Making the Lego Batman Movie - Inside Wayne Manor - Brick by Brick: Making of the LEGO Batman - Behind the Brick - Me and My Mini Fig - Comic Con Panel - Rebrick Contest Winners - Film Trailers - Lego Life Trailer - Social Promos - Director and Crew Commentary
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Lego batman: the movie -- dc superheroes unite, common sense media reviewers.
Lighthearted superhero action is fun -- but big toy ad.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie includes a fictitious chemistry lesson a
At first, Batman is fairly inconsiderate toward ot
These LEGO versions of superheroes are a little mo
The story features lots of lightweight, comic-book
The movie is, of course, one big advertisement for
Parents need to know that LEGO Batman: The Movie -- DC Superheroes Unite is a full-length animated movie, released direct to DVD, featuring the slightly humorous LEGO versions of the popular superheroes Batman, Superman, etc. The movie concentrates on thrills and fighting, with a huge Kryptonite-powered gun,…
The movie includes a fictitious chemistry lesson as Luthor mixes several elements to make Kryptonite. Otherwise, this is strictly for entertainment value.
At first, Batman is fairly inconsiderate toward others in this story. He is uncomfortable asking for help, and doesn't like to give praise to others. He also mistrusts his friends (keeping a store of Kryptonite on hand just in case Superman goes bad). Fortunately, he does eventually realize that asking for help is not necessarily a bad thing, and finally praises Robin for a job well done.
Positive Role Models
These LEGO versions of superheroes are a little more comical, and less serious than usual, but they're still on the side of good and justice. They sometimes seem a little inept, or arrogant, or socially maladjusted.
Violence & Scariness
The story features lots of lightweight, comic-book fighting, with a kind of humorous -- not scary -- tone. The Joker has a Kryptonite-powered gun that breaks apart LEGO structures and frees an army of bad guys. He and Lex Luthor also rampage through the city in a giant Joker-like clown robot (which is potentially scary for little ones). The crazy, laughing Joker might also be a bit scary. There are lots of explosions and chases.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.
Products & Purchases
The movie is, of course, one big advertisement for LEGO superhero toys (the DVD even comes with a little Clark Kent/Superman figure). Though the movie doesn't overtly mention toys for sale, kids will know that these toys are available and will likely want them after viewing.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LEGO Batman: The Movie -- DC Superheroes Unite is a full-length animated movie, released direct to DVD, featuring the slightly humorous LEGO versions of the popular superheroes Batman, Superman, etc. The movie concentrates on thrills and fighting, with a huge Kryptonite-powered gun, and a giant (potentially scary) Joker robot, along with fighting, chasing, and explosions. The tone of the conflicts is always light and funny. The only other issue is consumerism: while there's no specific mention of toys for sale, it will be clear to kids that the entire movie is an ad for LEGO superhero toys. (The DVD even comes with a Clark Kent/Superman figure.) Still, this is a much more age-appropriate fare for superhero fans 8 and up than stuff like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns . To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .
Where to Watch
Videos and photos.
- Parents say (7)
- Kids say (14)
Based on 7 parent reviews
Ok for young kids
A great movie form travelers tale. kids and adults will enjoy., what's the story.
When Bruce Wayne beats Lex Luthor as Gotham's "Man of the Year," it inspires Lex to cook up an evil plan to become president. This plan requires freeing the Joker from Arkham Asylum, using a Kryptonite-powered gun. The Joker takes the opportunity to also free all of Batman's other fearsome foes (Catwoman, Penguin, Bane, etc.). Batman and Robin take the case. Superman offers to help, but Batman refuses. Finally, when Luthor and the Joker begin rampaging through town in a giant Joker robot, spreading a dangerous chemical (designed to influence election results), Batman changes his mind and the Justice League swoops in to help.
Is It Any Good?
LEGO Batman: The Movie -- DC Superheroes Unite will entertain adults just as effortlessly as it does kids. It's funny to see the opening credits, designed, LEGO-style, to copy the opening credits for Tim Burton's Batman (1989). It even lifts parts of Danny Elfman's original Batman music score (as well as parts of John Williams' Superman score).
The movie looks great and moves well, using its 71 minutes wisely. It has time for both thrills and humor without feeling rushed or forced, and the characters are funny and likeable. The only real issue is that it takes place, more or less, within the real superhero universe, and fans may balk at the somewhat jokey treatment of their heroes. Otherwise, though the movie doesn't specifically mention toys for sale, it's hard to escape that the entire thing plays like a toy ad.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence . Is it scary or over the top? Is it necessary to tell a superhero story with a lot of violence?
What does Batman learn over the course of the movie? Why is he so reluctant to reach out to others?
Does this movie make you want to own more LEGO toys? Why or why not?
- On DVD or streaming : May 21, 2013
- Cast : Charlie Schlatter , Clancy Brown , Troy Baker
- Director : Jon Burton
- Studio : Warner Premiere
- Genre : Family and Kids
- Topics : Superheroes
- Run time : 71 minutes
- MPAA rating : NR
- Last updated : October 8, 2022
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The Lego Batman Movie review – relentlessly funny superhero parody
Will Arnett voices a brilliantly gruff, macho, humourless Dark Knight in this expressive, cinematic and subversive Gotham City satire
I t was already brave of the custodians of the Batman franchise to let The Lego Movie mock their prize asset so mercilessly in 2014. The fact that they’ve doubled down with this feature-length parody suggests they figure either Batman can take it, or that he’s reached that point in the superhero cycle where it’s no longer possible to take him seriously. Either way, this gag-packed, knockabout action-adventure has a lot of fun with the character, while also broaching his pathologies in a way the “serious movies” rarely do. It doesn’t have the heart, the depth or the novelty of the first Lego movie , but it is relentlessly, consistently funny – which excuses everything.
Voiced with Christian Bale-like gruffness by Will Arnett , this is the macho, humourless, self-regarding Dark Knight we get here, who imagines he’s brilliant at everything and prefers to work alone. “Batman doesn’t do ’ships,” (as in “relationships”) he tells a crestfallen Joker, denying there’s anything special between them during a spectacular opening fight (as with its predecessor, this movie’s Lego-bricked animation is surprisingly expressive and cinematic). Afterwards, our hero goes home to an empty Batcave for some microwaved lobster, a little solo heavy-metal guitar, and a night alone in his home cinema with Jerry Maguire . He’s a bit of a loser, in other words.
Inevitably, Batman’s solitude is challenged. First, by his inadvertent adoption of a wide-eyed, orphan kid, the future Robin, whom he initially regards as an expendable pest (many fans would agree). Then by the Joker. Stung by rejection, he’s hatching an even bigger plan to win back Batman’s attention and get their symbiotic relationship back on track. Meanwhile, new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), is advocating a fresh, co-operative approach to crime, noting that “despite all the great work Batman has done for us, Gotham is still the most crime-ridden city in the world”.
In a regular superhero movie, that would be saying the unsayable, but this parallel Lego universe can get away with it, and a whole lot more. The movie is chock-full of meta-references, one-liners and in-jokes (a cinema in the background is playing Two Shades of Grey, for example). There’s a hint of political subversion in the suggestion Batman’s methods are extra-legal and unaccountable. There’s even a Guantanamo-like Phantom Zone where criminals are locked away, outside the law. Mostly, the movie pokes fun at other fictions: rival DC superheroes, characters from other stories (including Gremlins and Daleks), and above all, Batman’s own chequered heritage.
At one point, Batman’s butler, Alfred, reminds him he’s had similar crises of identity before, listing the years of all the previous Batman movies right back to Batman: The Movie, the 1966 Adam West version, from which we see a live-action clip. The Lego Batman Movie knows it’s closer to this than any subsequent iterations. We even get on-screen POW!s and BAM!s. But this is also very much in the vein of current pop satire such as Robot Chicken (where director Chris McKay cut his teeth), Team America and last year’s Deadpool . In fact, this is basically Deadpool for juniors.
That is some achievement when you think about everything this movie has to do. Let’s not forget this is, at heart, a not-so-subliminal promo for two enormous commercial concerns: Batman and Lego. The merchandising is physically built in: many a young viewer will covet Batman’s new Scuttler ship (yours for £84.99). Really, they should be paying us to go and see it. The fact that the movie can satisfy its commercial imperatives, smuggle in some satirical jabs, and wrap it all up in an apparently irreverent, self-satirising comedy for all ages could be viewed as admirable or sinister, but this is, undeniably, a sophisticated product.
- The Lego Batman Movie
- Superhero movies
- Animation in film
- The Lego Movie
- Comedy films
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE Video Review
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SDG Reviews ‘The Lego Batman Movie’
As frenetic as The Lego Movie but without its subversive wit, this superhero spinoff offers plenty of jokes but less self-awareness than one might hope.
The Lego Batman Movie is more or less the sort of movie I had originally expected The Lego Movie to be, which is fine, but not very surprising.
The movie opens in fully self-aware, smart-aleck mode, with the voice of Will Arnett as Lego Batman knowingly commenting on cinematic conventions (“All important movies start with a black screen”).
The first act makes a joke of Batman’s aura of invincibility by having him easily defeat all his enemies at once — not only heavy hitters like the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman, Bane, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Clayface and Mr. Freeze, but obscure figures like Crazy Quilt, the Calculator, the Eraser, Killer Moth, Gentleman Ghost, even the Condiment King.
“They’re just making some of these up,” my 8-year-old daughter whispers to me. Before I can tell her that they’re all real characters, an onscreen character asks, “Okay, are you making some of these up?”
“Nope, they’re all real,” smirks the Joker (Zach Galifianakis). “Probably worth a Google.”
Despite the villainous full-court press, Batman’s victory is so assured that no one is even worried about it. Clearly, something subversive has to happen to kick things out of superhero-movie business as usual and challenge Batman to his core.
Would you believe…a giant swirling energy portal in the sky?
I am not kidding. And it’s not a Lego portal either, or a gateway to the non-Lego world like the swirly-energy frontier in The Lego Movie . Just a standard-issue computer-generated swirly energy portal to another in-universe dimension (the Negative Zone) like practically every superhero movie these days.
This has become such a cliché that last year an article written in the voice of a literally self-aware “giant beam of light shooting into the sky in every superhero movie” ran at Observer.com , with the energy beam smugly remarking “I am a portal to another dimension, probably” and offering observations like:
Traffic reports in superhero movies are like, “looks like there’s another Giant Sky Beam, so plan for some congestion around the middle of our New York-type city.”
Yet by this point all the self-awareness has drained out of The Lego Batman Movie , and nobody even comments on the sky-portal cliché. It’s like spoofing or subverting movie tropes was too hard, so director Chris McKay and the long, long list of writers ultimately decided to settle for making a plain old superhero movie — just, you know, with Legos and jokes. Lots of jokes.
There are pointed jokes about Batman as a character that stick, but no pointed jokes about the audience for Batman movies or for superhero movies generally — nothing that feels like the filmmakers are willing to take even a nip at the hand that feeds them, either consumer-wise or corporate-wise.
When The Lego Movie gave us a protagonist whose favorite restaurant was any chain restaurant and who happily drank overpriced coffee because he just wanted to fit in and be accepted, it was slyly making fun of the consumerist culture that produces movies like The Lego Movie . If any phenomenon in contemporary popular culture deserves to be made fun of, it’s superhero movie culture — but The Lego Batman Movie just wants to fit in and be accepted. Like The Lego Movie , The Lego Batman Movie shares modern Hollywood animation’s relentless freneticism, but The Lego Movie ’s subversive wit is missing here.
The movie’s best idea, almost its only idea, is that Batman’s super-cool aura of awesomeness, toughness and invincibility masks an underlying social isolation and fear of emotional connection and vulnerability. In spite of his reputation as the greatest superhero of all, he’s actually so cluelessly self-absorbed and lacking in empathy that he’s not a full-fledged good guy at all.
Apparently because of the trauma of losing his parents at a young age, Batman is afraid to let anyone else get close. This includes his fellow Justice Leaguers, whom he assumes are as lonely and brooding as he is, but aren’t. It includes young Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), who’s star-struck by both of Batman’s identities. And it includes the Joker, who wants the validation of being acknowledged as Batman’s archnemesis. Remember when Heath Ledger’s Joker said to Batman “You complete me”? The Lego Batman Movie has Batman repeatedly watching the original “You complete me” scene from Jerry Maguire and laughing uproariously every time.
Linking his social isolation to his above-the-law tactics, the movie pits Batman against the successor to retiring Commissioner Gordon (Hector Elizondo), Gordon’s daughter Barbara (Rosario Dawson), who is not yet but will be Batgirl.
For no good reason at all, Barbara is given the same kind of swoony, time-stopping, male-gazey glamour intro as Wyldstyle in the original Lego Movie . There it kind of made sense, because Emmet was a quintessentially ordinary, inside-the-box guy and Wyldstyle was an exotic herald of a mysterious larger world.
Batman has been rubbing shoulders with the likes of Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Poison Ivy for — well, decades, really, as The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t mind jokingly noting. Why would Barbara Gordon rock Batbro’s world like this? There doesn’t seem to be anything here beyond the generic joke about the effect of a beautiful woman on the male brain.
Barbara threatens to introduce a second idea as she argues that lawless, unaccountable vigilantism is unacceptable and Batman will have to work within the rules. Of course this idea is quickly lost in the chaos of the final act, in which Batman actually recruits all of his normal enemies to defeat the extracanonical villains arrayed against him (Voldemort, Sauron, King Kong, etc.), all conveniently stored in the Phantom Zone.
The Phantom Zone is introduced by the revelation that Lego Superman recently dispatched Lego General Zod there, I guess because someone involved in this movie realized that snapping a bad guy’s neck is something no Superman worth his salt would do — but of course there can’t be a joke about how Superman would never do such a thing. There can be 10,000 jokes about past franchises, from the Christopher Reeve Superman films to the old 1940s Batman serials, but the new DC movie universe is still being built, so there can’t be a jab at that . That would be biting the hand that feeds.
There’s the same sort of group-hug ending as The Lego Movie , with Batman learning a valuable lesson, like Mr. Incredible over a dozen years ago, about how people need each other and you can’t just work alone because you’re afraid of losing people. Yet even as he acknowledges that he needs the Joker as much as the Joker needs him, his old narcissism is still in play: “You are the reason,” he tells the Joker, “that I get up at 4 P.M. and work out until my chest is positively sick.” Batman’s made progress, I guess, but the franchise hasn’t.
Steven D. Greydanus is the Register’s film critic and creator of Decent Films . He is a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter .
Caveat Spectator: Animated violence and mayhem; some rude humor. Older kids and up.
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Non-Stop Laughs a Bonus: Lego Batman 's a Great Batman Movie in Its Own Right
- Jeffrey Huston Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Everything is still awesome in this spinoff to 2014's The Lego Movie . Will Arnett 's Batman has gone from side character to main hero, and the results are as inspired and fun as fans have been hoping. 4 out of 5.
Batman isn't just a superhero, he's a superstar, defending Gotham and battling villains with ease and flair, not to mention a bevy of amazing gadgets, vehicles, and machines. He does it all with swagger, plus a 9-pack of shredded abs, basking in the glow of public adoration. But his playful vanity is really just a protective emotional wall that he, Bruce Wayne, has built around himself. Still scarred by the death of his parents when he was a child, Batman is afraid to allow new people into his life or create deep, meaningful relationships for fear that he may lose them, too, causing new, painful wounds. Not to worry; that's all played for sentiment, not angst. And when a legion of bad guys from this world and beyond threaten Gotham City, Batman must learn to work together with others and, more importantly, allow people into his life, including an orphaned boy wonder named Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Robin.
The onslaught of jokes is so non-stop that we become a bit numb to their wit. Some still inevitably pop out and surprise, eliciting audible guffaws, but it's just impossible to keep up. Even so, the net result is an experience that's consistently amusing even if we're not always laughing out loud. The long-term benefit of this high volume of wisecracks, jokes and references will undoubtedly be catching things on repeat viewings that were previously missed.
Christian Worldview Elements / Spiritual Themes
Cautions (may contain spoilers).
- MPAA Rating: PG for some rude humor and some action
- Language/Profanity : No profanities. Some mild words including 'butt', 'stupid', 'loser', 'farts', 'sucks'.
- Sexuality/Nudity : None really to speak of. On some occasions, characters pull off their pants or clothes for a costume change, but there's not any "toy" nudity, just underwear - clearly played for laughs. There's some romantic tension between Batman and Barbara Gordon, but again, played for laughs.
- Violence/Frightening/Intense : High octane cartoon violence, but nothing disturbing or scary. All comical.
- Drugs/Alcohol : A reference to Alfred drinking wine.
The Bottom Line
RECOMMENDED FOR: A great movie for the whole family, and for fans of the original Lego Movie in particular. Perfect for kids who are Batman fans but are too young for the PG-13 live action iterations.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: People with an aversion to animated comedies and madcap pacing, or with zero interest in parodies of comic book heroes and mythologies.
The Lego Batman Movie, directed by Chris McKay, opened in theaters February 10, 2017; available for home viewing June 13, 2017. It runs 104 minutes and stars Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate and Mariah Carey . Watch the trailer for The Lego Batman Movie here .
Jeff Huston is a writer/director/editor for Steelehouse Productions, a film & video production company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also publishes a movie blog that can be found at icantunseethatmovie.com , and is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. In 2015, his short film Pink Shorts was a finalist in HBO's Project Greenlight competition, and was one of six winners in that show's online "Greenie Awards."
Publication date : February 9, 2017
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Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Reviewed by: Shawna Ellis CONTRIBUTOR
“It is easy to harden your heart. To open it… that is the hardest thing.”
For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE —a feeling, an emotion, or an action? Answer
Siblings selfishly arguing and fighting over toys instead of sharing and enjoying them together
How to avoid misreading people’s intentions
Dystopian fiction world—where life is very bad, due to oppression, terror, deprivation, etc.
ORIGIN OF BAD —Why are there bad things in our world? Answer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
What will the Biblical MILLENNIUM be like? Answer
“They come in pieces”
Prequel: “ The LEGO Movie ” (2014)
“T he Lego Movie” (2014) was a fun, heartfelt film which parents could enjoy with their children. It wowed audiences with beautiful animation, a clever premise and a surprisingly deep message. In going to see “Lego Movie 2: the Second Part,” I was afraid that the filmmakers would deviate from what had worked so well in the first film. I feared cruder humor, an uninventive story and a shallow ending. Yet I came away with a smile and the knowledge that I can recommend this movie with little reservation.
At the end of the first Lego Movie , there was an indication that everything is not awesome in Bricksburg in the aftermath of Taco Tuesday. Invaders from the planet Duplo land in the final scene, and one could sense that the Lego world was about to be altered forever. The sequel opens with brooding voiceover narration by Lucy ( Elizabeth Banks ), who describes how Bricksburg has been changed into a war-torn wasteland now called Apocalypseburg. It is filled with grim, hardened inhabitants who are just trying to survive.
Emmet ( Chris Pratt ) is the only resident of that harsh land who still believes that everything is awesome. Lucy and the others can hardly fathom how he has a cheerful attitude, undaunted enthusiasm and compassion toward the enemy in these troubled times, which makes some doubt his toughness and therefore his ability as a leader.
When tragedy strikes, Emmet begins a journey into the unknown in order to save those he holds dear.
I won’t describe any more of the plot, as it is much better to watch it unfold. Set your logic aside for a little while as you do so and just enjoy the adventure as Emmet seeks to be the leader the others expect him to be.
Once again, so much about this film is clever and whimsical. The animation is beautifully rendered with many small witty touches to be noticed. The music (and there is a substantial amount) is often used as a narrative device, but is still catchy and fun. The voice acting is superb, with great performances by returning characters and a few new ones, including the enigmatic Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi ( Tiffany Haddish ). While watching this film, I can’t help but think that everyone involved in the production was having a great time as they brought the story to life. It does not take itself too seriously, but at the same time it once more delivers a serious message about having compassion, growing up and understanding others. It’s a lot of message mixed in with quite a few laughs and plenty of fun action.
It may not be able to quite recapture all the charm of the first, simply because we are now more familiar with the way the Lego universe works, but it is a worthwhile sequel, and I left the theater wanting to see it again. Some have commented that this installment seems to be geared primarily toward children in both its humor and its take-away message, but I am not sure I agree. Pop culture references, clever puns and the actual spoken acknowledgment of convenient plot devices are prevalent, and many of these jokes are geared entirely for adults or teens.
Thankfully the filmmakers have done this with clever writing and not by resorting to crass innuendo, as in many children’s films. A few jokes seem forced and fall flat, and sometimes the change in action or certain revelations can seem a little jarring or illogical. But, even so, there is plenty here to be enjoyed by all ages and refreshingly little content of concern. Never have I taken so few notes when reviewing a movie!
LANGUAGE: This is limited to words such as “heck,” “butt” and “oh my goshness,” and even these are very lightly used.
SEX: Lego Batman is briefly shown shirtless, and the shape-changing queen sometimes takes vaguely suggestive womanly forms and poses. Emmet and Lucy are never said to actually be married, but Emmet refers to them as “special best friends forever” and is building a home for them.
VIOLENCE: This film has comedic action and violence, with explosions, chases, and fights, but this is all done in “Lego style” in which there is never any gore shown. I felt that there was somewhat less peril than in the first movie, but more angst and emotional intensity is shown by the characters.
OTHER: A pun is made about Superman’s enemy General Zod being a “Zodsend.” Characters meet “unthreatening romantic vampires” in reference to the Twilight movie series. The worldview of millions of years is used regarding dinosaurs. Someone mentions that he has been meditating. One character tries to woo another using reverse psychology and jealousy.
While some people may think that this film is making a social commentary on gender roles or “toxic masculinity,” I did not really pick up that vibe. Although plot elements hinge on whether or not Emmet is tough or hard-edged enough to be a good leader, he is actually already very brave and self-sacrificing. While cheerful and optimistic, he is also decisive and heroic when needed. True manhood is more than superficial appearance, ruggedness or strength, but is also about being sacrificial and willing to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13).
One quote from this film has stuck with me. “It is easy to harden your heart . To open it… that is the hardest thing.” This is true of the characters in this film, but equally true for us. We can become embittered and hardened by difficulties and trials. That’s in our fleshly nature, and therefore very easy for us to do. We will often mistake this worldly “strength” for maturity. But maturity isn’t proven by our toughness or resilience. True maturity and growth comes when we open our hearts by considering others’ needs above our own. This is not in our fleshly nature to do, and anyone who attempts to do this in his or her own strength will find it almost impossible to maintain. Before we can truly open our hard heart to others, we must first open it to Christ who can work that change in us.
- Violence: Mild
- Profane language: None
- Vulgar/Crude language: Minor
- Nudity: None
- Occult: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers .
- Young people
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LEGO DC: Batman: Family Matters
2019, Kids & family/Comedy, 1h 19m
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Lego dc: batman: family matters photos.
Ominous notes sent to the Bat-family have the heroes racing against time to stop Red Hood, who's gathering Gotham City's rogues' gallery to enact revenge on the Dark Knight.
Genre: Kids & family, Comedy, Adventure, Action, Animation
Original Language: English
Director: Matt Peters
Producer: Rick Morales , James Krieg
Writer: Jeremy Adams
Release Date (Streaming): Jul 19, 2019
Runtime: 1h 19m
Production Co: Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment
Cast & Crew
Red Hood Voice
Billy Batson Voice
Brother Eye , Bat Computer Voice
Gordon , Penguin Voice
Two-Face , Harvey Dent Voice
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Warning: This article contains spoilers
"The Lego Movie" has dominated the box office for three weeks in a row , and captured high praise from reviewers , but the ideas and themes it presents (many of them remarkably consistent with a Christian worldview) may very well rank as its highest accomplishment.
The film presents a light-hearted, adventurous atmosphere infectious for kids and adults alike. It features pop culture references to Batman, Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, and Dumbledore from Harry Potter. From a journey to "Cloud Coo-Coo Land," where "there's no government, babysitters, and no consistency," to the millionth floor of President Business' mansion, which hosts "a mysterious room called the 'think tank,'" the movie creates a world full of witty fun.
Infused throughout the light-hearted comedy run deeper themes about human (or should one say "Lego?") freedom and creativity, adventure, sacrifice, and even redemption. Below, follow five prominent themes that resonate with a Christian worldview.
1. David and Goliath, Challenging Earthly Power
The events in "The Lego Movie" take place in a dystopian society where the all-powerful ruler "President Business" dictates instructions for all Lego people to be happy. Entertainment consists of one TV show, "Where are My Pants?" Coffee is overpriced – $37 for a cup of decaf. TV screens across the city blast the ruler's happy promise "I've got my eye on you," and radios emit one song – "Everything is Awesome!" The main character, Emmet, has no individual ideas or preferences, due to societal conditioning.
A resistance forms against this monochrome life, led by the "Master Builders," who aim to break individuals out of this mold and enable them to create. The plot pits these innovators against an all-powerful tyrant, who controls history books and voting machines, and aims to lock all Lego figures into an eternal state of "perfection." Emmet, the hero with no character, must save the day.
In this way, "The Lego Movie" presents a struggle like that between David – a small boy with no inherent power – and Goliath – a great giant who threatens God's people. It also resonates with the Apostle Paul's declaration in Ephesians 6 that Christians "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the present darkness of this world."
2. Freedom and Creativity
The central plot revolves around Emmet's pursuit of freedom and creativity, which requires him to gather the master builders and defeat President Business. As Wyldstyle, whose real name is Lucy, tells the main character, "President Business got confused and built walls between the worlds and became obsessed with order." In order to keep everybody in their place, the villain prepares the ultimate weapon – the Kragle (Krazy Glue) – to stick all the Legos together in an eternal prison.
Emmet finds "the piece of resistance" – the cap to the Krazy Glue – the only weapon to stop President Business' evil plan. In the end, the master builders achieve their freedom, and teach the other Lego figures to build things on their own, without the restrictions of "the instructions."
Christians believe that God created Man "in His own image," that human creativity springs from God's likeness. Sin enslaves men, as Jesus declared in John 8:34, but Jesus offers freedom.
3. Sacrifice of the Main Character
In order to achieve this victory, Emmet sacrifices himself. In addition to gluing the Legos in place for all time, President Business' plan involves killing all the master builders by shocking them with a battery. As the clock counts down to zero, Emmet grabs the battery and jumps into "the infinite abyss of nothingness," sacrificing his life to save his friends.
As Jesus redeemed men from the slavery of sin through dying on the cross, Emmet frees his friends by hurling himself (along with the battery) into the abyss.
4. The Physical and Spiritual Worlds
When Emmet falls through this black hole, however, he does not die or cease to exist, but ends up in the human world, unconnected to the Lego sets above him. There, he sees the boy who is playing with Legos, and glimpses a larger world in which he is no more than a toy.
The Old Testament abounds with passages emphasizing the smallness and relative insignificance of man from God's perspective. Isaiah 40 declares that "the people are as grass," but Jesus offers new life – adoption as sons of the living God. "That is precisely what Christianity is about," C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity . "This world is a great sculptor's shop. We are the statues and there is a rumor going around the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life."
"The Lego Movie" shows a world where human beings partake in the lives of Lego minifigures, just as God partakes in the lives of men and women. This world-within-a-world fits with the Christian understanding of God's transcendence and the separation between earth and heaven.
5. Father-Son Redemption
When Emmet leaves the Lego world and enters the human world, the audience understands a plot behind the Lego struggle. Finn (Jadon Sand) is playing with his father's old Legos, and his father (Will Ferrell, who also voices President Business) wants to glue the Legos together so his son will stop playing with them and so they will sit still in the way he built them. Eventually, Finn convinces his father to let him play with the Legos, and the father joins in.
Although the Legos did not sin and thereby earn the kind of death Finn's father wanted to give them, their story provides an allegory of Jesus' redemption. Jesus dies on the cross, satisfying God's wrath and judgment against mankind, and freeing them to live with God. Finn convinces his father to save the Legos, freeing them from the horrible fate of being glued together for eternity.
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Bring it on, Bat dudes and dude-ettes. I am not among those flapping my Bat wings with overflowing joy over “The Lego Batman Movie,” the latest building block in a burgeoning animated toy-box franchise based on 2014’s “ The Lego Movie .” Before you head to the comments section below to disagree, consider that this dissent comes courtesy of someone who bestowed four whopping stars upon its predecessor, a supremely original and consistently entertaining outing about resisting socially-enforced conformity.
It could simply be that I suffer from superhero fatigue these days. It’s a not-uncommon malady, one that seems to be also affecting even the stars of these repetitive enterprises as witnessed by current Bat surrogate Ben Affleck when he couldn’t summon the enthusiasm to also direct a sequel to last year’s critically maligned “ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice .”
I also haven’t really been truly fond of a big-screen Caped Crusader since Michael Keaton ’s inspired outside-the-box interpretation of the role. When he sneered, “I’m Batman,” it contained true menace. When Will Arnett throatily growls his lines in this Lego version, it is usually in the service of derisive mockery that only semi-regularly hits its mark.
Of course, if I wanted to spend a morning with a narcissistic grumpy billionaire who claims he and he alone can bring law and order to the world while bragging incessantly about his accomplishments, I could have simply skipped the screening and turned on any cable news channel instead. Although Batman scores points for often beat-boxing rather than tweeting his self-praise.
But besides an implacable me-first disposition, the synthetically molded superhero and a certain White House dweller also have a financial patron in common: Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, who earns an executive producer credit on this spoofy spinoff. Hmm. Are you thinking what I am thinking about how they might just build that border wall—namely, one Lego brick at a time?
Granted, I will never be mistaken for a diehard Batman fan. I was more into Superman as a kid, mostly because of Lois Lane—but I was a loyal admirer of the campy ‘60s Batman TV series (referenced here via its “na-na-na-na” theme song, cheesy villains and the pop-art “POWs!” employed during a fight scene—a bone thrown at us oldsters). So, yes, I am not the target audience. Then again, neither are kids under eight or so, who likely aren’t going to get most of the non-bathroom-and-butt-related humor.
Basically, those who are batty for this stuff will positively devour all the Easter eggs that whisk by. But those who aren’t as up on the 78-year history of the character will likely feel as if their brains have been scrambled.
That’s not to say I didn’t find some pleasure in this aggressively frenzied comedic spin directed by Chris McKay (who worked as an animation co-director/supervisor on the first Lego film) on this most dour of comic-book heroes as it draws upon decades of Bat lore for its inside jokes (no previous incarnation of the Dark Knight is left un-zinged, including an obscure baddie known as the Condiment King) and cultural references that zip by faster than any souped-up Bat vehicle. But it soon becomes apparent that not everything is quite as awesome this time around. For one, there is barely a plot other than how the bromance-inclined Joker ( Zach Galifianakis , who turns his leering clown into an incessant whiner) is ticked off that Batman refuses to acknowledge that he is his No. 1 arch-rival. Instead, Batman hurtfully claims that Superman is his greatest enemy before admitting, “I am fighting a few different people … I Iike to fight around.”
Action scenes consume most of the film's 104-minute running time, with a surplus of villainy summoned from not just the DC Comics universe but also home studio Warner Bros.’ warehouse of baddies—including the Eye of Sauron, Voldemort, King Kong, Gremlins, Godzilla and the Wicked Witch of the West and her Flying Monkeys. There is plenty of visual razzle-dazzle, to be sure, but not much else.
The sequence that I most enjoyed, however, was a rare quiet and semi-serious one when Batman returns to his near-empty secluded compound that occupies an entire island and reheats the lobster thermidor thoughtfully left in the fridge by manservant Alfred (a fine Ralph Fiennes ). Dressed in a silk robe but still in his mask, Batman accidentally punches in 20 minutes instead of 2—glad to know I am not the only one who does this—and dines in solo silence before he heads to his Wayne Manor movie theater to giggle over the romantic interludes of such relationship flicks as “ Jerry Maguire ” and “Marley & Me.” Later, he gazes at photos of himself as a youngster alongside his parents, who—as Batman fans know—were tragically murdered. Bruce Wayne might be, as he declares, “the greatest orphan of all time,” but he also fears commitment to family, friends, even to fellow crime-fighters and foes.
That all changes when Barbara Gordon ( Rosario Dawson , who eventually becomes Batgirl) replaces her father and takes over as commissioner. Instead of being a lone vigilante, she wants Batman to work alongside the city’s police as a team, the better to keep Gotham safe. In addition, while at a charity event for an orphanage, Bruce manages to unknowingly adopt googly-eyed foundling Dick Grayson (a nicely eager-beaverish Michael Cera ), who eventually assumes his own super persona as sidekick Robin.
Certainly, the five writers who pieced together this pastiche of Batmania have done their homework. But the story peters out long before it concludes with—what else?—a dance number. I guess I should semi-applaud any movie that employs Mariah Carey to provide the voice for Gotham’s pearl-wearing and pant-suited mayor. But when it comes to humorous satire, it is the movie that has to sing even while it stings.
Susan Wloszczyna spent much of her nearly thirty years at USA TODAY as a senior entertainment reporter. Now unchained from the grind of daily journalism, she is ready to view the world of movies with fresh eyes.
Marya E. Gates
Brian tallerico, film credits.
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Rated PG for rude humor and some action.
Will Arnett as Batman / Bruce Wayne (voice)
Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth (voice)
Michael Cera as Robin / Dick Grayson (voice)
Rosario Dawson as Batgirl / Barbara Gordon (voice)
Zach Galifianakis as The Joker (voice)
Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn (voice)
Mariah Carey as Mayor McCaskill (voice)
Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face (voice)
- Chris McKay
Writer (Batman created by)
- Bill Finger
Writer (Superman created by)
- Jerry Siegel
- Joe Shuster
Writer (story by)
- Seth Grahame-Smith
- Chris McKenna
- Erik Sommers
- Jared Stern
- John Whittington
- David Burrows
- John Venzon
- Lorne Balfe
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Lego Batman Finds the Funny In Existential Angst
T he first 20 minutes of The Lego Batman Movie , in which a character made of small plastic snap-together pieces captures delicate gradations of hubris and loneliness, are genius. The opening blast of action uses every color in the jawbreaker palette: Lego Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) saves Lego Gotham from a cadre of villains led by Lego Joker (Zach Galifianakis), with his acid-green molded pompadour and equally acidic ingratiating smile. There’s never any doubt who’ll win. Lego Batman makes a point of showing off his “nine-pack” (he’s so awesome, he has an extra ab). But after the rumble is over, he retreats to cavernous Lego Wayne Manor, shifting straight into moody Christian Bale mode. He pops dinner into the microwave–it hums morosely, its light bathing his forlorn, masked face in a one-is-the-loneliest-number glow. The seconds tick by. Lego Batman’s existential suffering gets funnier with each one.
And then the whole thing falls apart. The film, directed by Chris McKay, is a spin-off of 2014 hit The Lego Movie , an unapologetic product unapologetically selling a product. Sometimes brash, sometimes wearying, that movie at least felt like it was made by the brightest kid in the class. Not so for Lego Batman. After that kick-ass opening, the picture devolves into an action-action-plot-action-plot-action monotone. Where have all the gags gone? By the end Lego Batman has learned a valuable lesson: family is important! (A lesson, by the way, that’s almost always designed to please adults more than children, who mostly long for chaos and freedom.) Lego Batman, with his comically blank eyes and observant pointed ears, deserves better. No other character with nine abs has ever made misery funnier.
This appears in the February 20, 2017 issue of TIME.
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The LEGO Batman Movie Review
Let's get nuts..
Watching The LEGO Batman Movie feels like dumping a bag of Dark Knight-flavoured sherbet directly onto your brain. Within the opening ten minutes, Batman faces and foils almost every villain you could possibly name – and more than a few you probably couldn’t – in a spectacular and thrilling action sequence that rivals any found in the live-action Batman movies in terms of sheer excitement and scale.
With Gotham’s worst incarcerated in Arkham Asylum – yet again – Batman retires to Wayne Manor where he microwaves a simple lobster thermidor for one. (Incidentally, watching Batman use a microwave is very funny.) Will Arnett’s Batman is probably the loneliest version of the character to date. This is played for laughs, of course, with Bruce struggling to go out in public without the cowl, but it’s also unexpectedly moving. We see Bruce rattling around his ancestral home, watching romantic comedies, messing about with HDMI feeds, and practicing rad guitar solos alone. There's something genuinely melancholic about watching the Dark Knight eating a ready meal.
Big changes are coming, too. With super-cop Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) taking over from her father, advocating reform over vigilantism, the very idea of Batman is under scrutiny. Meanwhile, the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) – struggling to cope with the idea that Batman doesn’t think of him as his arch-nemesis and frustrated by Gotham’s incompetent villains – hatches a plan to unleash the worst prisoners trapped within the Phantom Zone.
It’s a simple yet brilliant plot, which allows director Chris McKay to take full and greedy advantage of DC’s rich universe – and a few others – to tell a uniquely bonkers but also surprisingly poignant story. There’s lots crammed into this movie, but ultimately it’s about Batman letting himself be part of a family once again.
Although packed with great action and bags of character, The LEGO Batman Movie’s main strength is its frantic sense of humour. Every scene is studded with all types of gags – from smart allusions to silly stuff, sight gags and innuendo. Even if they don’t all quite land, the script is so rapid-fire, you never have to wait long for a decent laugh to come along. That said, I think I could’ve done with less of Batman beat-boxing.
The movie mines its best comedic material from Batman’s relationships with other well-known DC characters, riffing on our pre-existing knowledge of them. In particular, it has a lot of fun playing with the twisted inter-dependence of Batman and the Joker, articulated in the likes of The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight. Here it’s treated as if it was a dysfunctional hook-up, with the Joker heartbroken to discover Bats is ‘seeing’ other villains, and what they have isn’t special. Some of the funniest moments come from when the script taps into wider Batman mythology, and there’s similarly sharp and funny moments to enjoy with Robin, Superman, and the rest of the Justice League.
Arnett’s gravelly tones and deadpan delivery are perfect for this reclusive, grumpy incarnation of the character. LEGO Batman is bit self-absorbed and arrogant – the Dark Knight has never talked so much about his abs – but Arnett ensures he’s vulnerable and still likeable. But the real standout is Michael Cera’s impossibly wide-eyed Robin, whose enthusiasm knows no bounds. He plays the Dick Grayson version of the character, who is accidentally adopted by Bruce Wayne at a charity function.
Before long, Dick stumbles into the Batcave and becomes Robin, wearing the tiniest shorts imaginable for extra mobility. Cera’s performance is bouncy and hilariously naive, while the animation is particularly strong – Robin’s cheery expressions and jam-jar glasses, magnifying the wonder in his eyes, consistently had me in stitches. As with Batman’s relationship with the Joker, the movie revels in making the dynamic between the duo as awkward as possible; it’s a cheeky acknowledgement of the situation’s inherent weirdness, yet the evolution of their relationship still feels authentically sweet and sincere.
Fiennes makes for a superbly dry Alfred, who becomes far more involved in the action than any of his forbears. And Zach Galifianakis delivers a perfectly decent performance as the Joker, without doing anything particularly memorable with the role. He really benefits, however, from some superb character design – the feral Joker look works really well – and some inspired animation. When he discovers Batman doesn’t think of him as ‘the one’, his face crumples, cycling through despair and devastation – it’s heartbreaking and hilarious.
The usually dark world of Batman is reimagined with insane energy and vibrancy. The quality of animation ensures each one of its blocky characters bursts with life and emotion. I particularly love how McKay and his writers have – very much in the spirit of LEGO – mixed-and-matched elements from other Batman stories and adaptations. Danny DeVito’s Penguin colludes with Tom Hardy’s Bane, while Arnett’s Batman quotes Michael Keaton one minute and tips his cowl to Adam West the next. Where else can you see that? It’s a frenetic and joyously unhinged celebration of all things Batman. But it’s so much more than a parody. Beneath its eccentric surface, The LEGO Batman Movie finds a new way to approach these familiar characters. Yes, it’s a great comedy, but it’s a great Batman movie, too.
More Reviews by Daniel Krupa