Lego Batman pokes fun at the dark knight

HIGHVELD – I have spoken often about the dangers of movie studios being too scared to move away from franchises, remakes, prequels and sequels and sticking to the ready-made audiences of loyal fans or crossover gamer-moviegoers.

I stand corrected.

It seems that the spate of sub-par movies we have had to deal with in the past 18 months, could not simply be blamed on the aforementioned financially driven decisions.

By all rights the Lego Batman movie should be terrible.

A kind of sequel of a fine movie, based on the most over-used and possibly exhausted character of all time, Bruce Wayne?

Well – not the case.

In fact, and many of my peers and siblings agree, this might be the very best Batman movie yet.

Yes, better than the acid-trips of Tim Burton and better than the grunge fests of Christopher Nolan.

It would seem that Bruce Wayne was meant to be made of yellow plastic and fly around Gotham in a semi stop-motion animated masterpiece.

The storyline is pretty straightforward with a Batman, a Joker, a Robin and an Alfred going up against each other with witty banter and very cool toys.

There seems to be some chances in the pipeline for Gotham, and if Batman, voiced by Will Arnett wants to save the dark city from the Joker’s (Zach Galifianakis) devious takeover, he may have to become a team player, drop the whole lone ranger vigilante thing and accept the help of his hapless sidekick, Robin (Micael Cera).

With the help of Robin and his ever loyal butler Alfred, voiced by Ralph Fiennes, and with the necessary injection of humour, he might just make it.

Having Batman be a broody moody and self involved, even spoiled, hero, makes this film work.

Most audiences are a bit fed up with the dark knight being portrayed as the emotionally tortured, dark and twisty hero that they deserve – whether they want him or not – and having Alfred and Robin call Lego Batman out on this, brings a new level of lighthearted humour to the character.

The thing that the Lego-movies seem to be capable of, is to remind adult audiences to stop taking everything so seriously and to inspire younger audiences to keep their inner child alive.

This film is another masterpiece of social commentary, humour and family-friendly on-screen mayhem.

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Willemien Aukema

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