The Lego Batman Movie Review: Surprisingly Heartfelt, Unsurprisingly Fun

You all voted on Twitter (or 6 of you did, but hey it’s a start) and decided my next review should be for The Lego Batman Movie, so, without further adieu, here it is.

If you saw The Lego Movie, you knew what to expect from the comedic side of The Lego Batman Movie. If you are a Batman fan, you probably had some general ideas about what The Lego Batman Movie will be all about. Let me tell you, no matter how you feel about Lego or Batman, there will be something you enjoy about this film. But enough introduction. Let’s get into the Pros and Cons of this film.

Pros: Just like with The Lego Movie, the vocal talent is solid. Will Arnett returns as the super fun, super enjoyable to watch Batman and lends some comedic styling as well as some real emotional weight to the character. He plays well off of his Robin, portrayed by Michael Cera, though if you’ve seen Arrested Development, you know that duo work. Cera is an incredibly light-hearted and positive Dick Grayson which never comes off as annoying, but rather gives some of the funniest moments of the film. The rest of the Bat-family includes Rosario Dawson as Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, both of whom excel in their roles (and with the passing of Adam West recently, seeing Fiennes pay homage to the 1960s Batman brought some true joy to my soul). The villain tallent was nothing to be scoffed at either. I won’t go too into detail, as nearly every villain from Batman’s rogues gallery appears, as well as several other villains from separate franchises (this is a shared Lego universe after all), but I will focus on the big 2, Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis and Harley Quinn, voiced by Jenny Slate. Both these interpretations are handled differently than I’ve seen these characters handled before. Neither voice actor used a character voice, which was especially unusual for Harley, but it worked for them. Slate, who I adore, so I may be biased, still has a fun, over-the-top Harley without the nasally Brooklyn accent of her predecessors. Galifianakis, while sometimes feeling slightly underwhelming, has a chaotic yet emotional portrayal of The Joker, which works well with the narrative given. Speaking of, both the writing and the animation are top-notch, which is to be expected from the crew who brought forth The Lego Movie, but, non-the-less is still incredibly impressive. The writing is also great for the adults who had to bring their children to see this film (or the adults like me who watched it alone because it had the words “Lego” and “Batman” in the title). I got an especially good chuckle from a “Gleaming the Cube” reference which I very much doubt any child watching would understand. I also appreciate the fact that they connect this film to The Lego Movie without directly mentioning it and alienating fans.

Cons: Really not much to say here. Any complaints I have seen about the film can easily be explained away with “Hey, it’s a kids movie. It’s going to be goofy.” As I said before, there were some moments where Galifianakis seemed to be phoning it in, but he still put in a good portrayal. It also was a little unsettling for me to have Ralph Fiennes appear in a film with Voldemort and having Voldemort be voiced by someone else, but I got over it quickly. Honestly, there really isn’t a whole lot to say negatively about the film. It’s just a boatload of fun for kids and adults alike, just like a kids movie should be.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who is willing to sit back and have 2 hours where they don’t take anything too seriously. It’s got something a ton of Easter eggs for Batman fans, and there’s a ton of fun stuff in there for fans of The Lego Movie. Overall, it’s a fun watch and it gives a nice lesson to learn at the end.

Numerical score: 4/5

Advertisements

The Mummy (2017) Review: Finding Potential in Mediocrity

Hello and welcome to the first actual review on the blog. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

The Mummy (2017) is disappointing in many respects. First and foremost, for me, if that fact that it has replaced Dracula Untold as the first film in the Dark Universe Cinematic Universe, or the Universal Monster franchise. But it also, as a film, is just okay. I enjoyed it enough to not want my time back, but I don’t think I’d tell anyone to seek it out unless they, like me, just enjoy monsters. But let’s get into Pros and Cons of the movie.

 

Pros: While, as I stated before, the movie is just kind of meh, I will say there is some real stand-out stuff in it. First, I have to give an acknowledgement to the cinematography and sound which give the movie an excellent creepy feeling and a very tense atmosphere. While most of the frights tend to be of the jump-scare variety, there is a definite feeling throughout the movie of impending disaster, and I absolutely loved it. I also have to say that the casting of both Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet and Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde were exceptional. Boutella, who has been putting in incredible performances across the board in everything she does, gives a real weight to the title character. Catching short glimpses of her as she flashes across the screen can be genuinely unsettling and when she actually is center stage, she has a ferocity and yet a tenderness which, at one point, actually made me feel like I was rooting for her to succeed. Crowe, who has proven himself several times to be an incredible actor, seems to genuinely be enjoying his place in the film. His Jekyll is soft spoken, calculating, and empirical, just as you would expect a scientist to be. His Hyde, while only seen briefly, is bloodthirsty and menacing, yet almost charming in a way. Crowe does an excellent job in showing the differences between the two personalities while also giving the audience a view of the blurry line, with neither personality being truly good or truly evil. The visuals were also very well done, with only a few moments of really jarring CGI that didn’t pull me out of the film

 

Cons: All of the actors who I didn’t name in the Pros section definitely belong in the Cons. Tom Cruise definitely seems to be in this film to cash a check more than anything else, which, is fine, every actor has those roles. Annabelle Wallis was either bored and totally phoning it in being as cheesy as possible or nervous about the amount of screen-time she had and was trying way to hard. Either way, her performance didn’t do anything for me and I cared so little for her character, I found myself counting the moments until she was off screen. Jake Johnson, while normally a joy to watch on screen, was given the absolute shortest end of the stick when it came to this script, and he did the best with what he had, so I can’t hold it against him. And speaking of the script, there were a lot of jokes and moments that weren’t funny that clearly were trying to be, and while the lore of the monsters (both Jekyll/Hyde and The Mummy) were really interesting, there was so much time trying to get the audience invested in the human characters and what they were doing and it simply did not land. The pacing of the film overall was off and there are a lot of times where nothing is going on and everything seems to drag while you wait for something interesting to come back on screen.

 

Overall, I have to say, this movie does make me want to see more of the Dark Universe. Their handling of the actual monsters and lore was well handled, and I left wanting to learn more about Henry Jekyll, his past, and his monster hunting organization. But the movie itself was a bit of a dud and I can only really recommend it to those of you who really want to see this Monster Cinematic Universe come to fruition.

Numerical Score: 3/5