Rated Greg’s Top 5 Batman Movies
- The Dark Knight*
- Batman Begins*
- The Lego Batman Movie
- Batman Returns
*These are all interchangeable. More like 1A/1B/1C
Do kids love The Lego Movie as much as I do? I honestly have no idea. I once tried to show it to my four-year-old niece but she may have been too young since Will Ferrell’s President Business scared her off five minutes in. From what I gather, Frozen is the clear leader but I’m interested to see how a panel of brats would stack it against Despicable Me, Dory, Life of Pets, etc. To me, the humor of The Lego Movie is so intertwined within my wheelhouse that I have it as the second best comedy of 2014 (Neighbors #1). After all, it was made by Phil Lord & Chris Miller, the comedy team behind the R rated 21 Jump Street movies as well as the quirky Last Man on Earth TV series. But I’m curious if the millennial wavelength of the animated blockbuster lessened its enjoyment from the younger target audience. Do they really get how funny this is?!
I think most would agree that the standout from The Lego Movie was Will Arnett’s Batman, a perfectly cast parody of the overly serious, grumbling dark knight that Christian Bale portrayed in the most recent trilogy. But by creating a spinoff focusing entirely on this character, it’s easy to wonder if that would be too much of a good thing (like when Ja’mie got her own show after the success of Summer Heights High or when Ken Bone went mainstream).
Well, I can report back that Batman is more than up to the task, so much so that I would rank this even above The Lego Movie. Aside from a brief cameo by The Super Friends, none of the original characters besides (obviously) Batman appear in Lego Batman. Instead, the film incorporates literally every single villain to ever step foot in Gotham, along with a plethora of baddies from over a dozen other franchises ranging from the 80’s to present day. I won’t dive into which one’s because that would give too much away, but to give you an idea of the scope of this project, one of the villains left on the cutting room floor was apparently none other than Bill the Butcher from Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
Like all kids movies the narrative pushes a clear, positive message, something about the importance of working together blah blah blah, but in terms of the humor it really seemed like the majority of jokes were directed more towards children of the 80’s & 90’s than second term Obama babies. References to all eight Batman movies as well as the campy 60’s TV show are scattered throughout the 100 minutes. This is Chris McKay’s first time directing a feature film, which seemed like a risky move for WB, but all of this made perfect sense once I realized he directed three seasons of the late night stop motion sketch comedy series Robot Chicken. Sidenote: You remember Robot Chicken? I think the last time I watched Robot Chicken I was drinking a Genny Light in a Boston College dorm room. Grade: A-