By Harley Penn
“Hello secret camera,” whispered Dick Grayson to a hidden camera in Bruce Wayne’s ginormous mansion. That was just one of the hilarious moments in The Lego Batman Movie. Will Arnett’s stern yet egotistical role as Batman brought many laughs to the audience as he fought almost every villain in his batcomputer files. Feeling threatened by the other villains, the Joker did all he could to show Batman that he was his greatest enemy. But while Batman tried to stop the Clown Prince of Crime, he faced another battle.
A huge part of the movie was Batman’s fight with his fear of being part of a family again. This was tested when he unknowingly adopted an orphan, who later turns into Robin, and they had to work together to save Gotham. His fear of belonging to a family was kryptonite for Batman in this movie, and resulted in many hilarious scenes between Batman and the jovial Robin, who always wants hug him and call him “Batdad.”
I think they played too much on Batman’s fear of family, since when there wasn’t any action, the entire story hung on this theme. However, it didn’t take away from the movie, because the action and the comedy made up for the slight lack of story.
The trailers built up tension by showing many villains, and the movie didn’t disappoint. DC and Warner Brothers pulled out a lot of old villains, such as Polka-Dot Man, Calendar Man, and Crazy Quilt. The Joker pokes fun at how obscure these villains are by telling a pilot to google who Condiment King is, swearing that he is a real villain (which he is, he first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series). This was a fun detail for Batman megafans. And even those who aren’t could still enjoy the small things, such as Bane’s iconic voice and Catwoman’s meow-filled way of speaking, which gave most villains with more than two seconds of screen time their own personality.
With the battle Batman faced on the battlefield against the horde of villains, and his internal battle against his fear of family, The Lego Batman Movie was action and emotion-packed, and had enough laughs to fill three movies.
PS: as your comic book writer, Harley Penn, I have a certain expectation of how Harley Quinn should be portrayed. Her giggly attitude should be blended with a fearless ferocity that matches her love for her Puddin’ and her red and black wardrobe. All of those expectations were met in this movie. But another important one wasn’t. Harley Quinn’s voice is part of her character. Her thick New York accent adds the spice to her puns, and brings a smile to those hearing them. Some may disagree with me, but I believe that Harley Quinn was not done justice by the voice provided for her, as it had no New York accent, and wasn’t bubbly or anything more than the voice of your average side-kick. Aside from that, every part of her was depicted flawlessly.
Fun Fact: In an alternate universe, Spider-Man was replaced by Spider-Ham, a spider named Peter who was bitten by a pig scientist who had irradiated herself with an atomic powered hairdryer. Spider-Ham, now called Peter Porker, was then transformed into a pig, but kept his spider abilities.