I am a huge fan of the original Lego Movie. When I first watched the trailer of that movie, I wasn’t too pumped about it. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t too excited for this style of animation and also because I thought that this movie was going to be nothing more than a glorified attempt to sell toys. A 90 minutes long advertisement.
I ended up being absolutely wrong, as usual.
The Lego Movie turned out to be one of the smartest, most inventive animation movies of all time, and it’s an absolute tragedy that the movie didn’t get a Best Animation Oscar nomination. Heck, it should have won it.
Given that I love The Lego Movie, needless to say, I was pumped for The Lego Batman Movie – especially since it centers around my favourite comic book character of all time – Batman (obviously).
While I did not end up liking this more than the original, The Lego Batman Movie is pretty damn good as well. Here are fifteen amazing Easter eggs and talking points from The Lego Batman Movie.
15. Opening Sequence
When I say opening sequence here, I don’t mean the first scene in the film. The Lego Batman movie followed a Deadpool-esque route and kick started the comedy right from the get go. As everyone probably already knows, Deadpool comes with the single greatest opening credits sequence of all time. It goes something like this:
“Some douchebag’s film,
Starring God’s perfect idiot,
A hot chick,
A British villain,
The comic relief,
A moody teen,
A CGI character,
A gratuitous cameo,
Produced by asshats,
Written by the real heroes here,
Directed by an overpaid tool.”
Well, The Lego Batman Movie decided to take it to the next level, by starting its comedic genius before the production studios/distributors logos even came on. It is an incredibly funny sequence that serves as a warm-up to everything that follows. And just by watching that opening sequence alone, you know that this could potentially be one of the best comedies of the year.
14. Batman Raps
If you think Everything is Awesome from the original Lego Movie is genius, wait until you listen to this piece of fine art.
While Everything is Awesome is more meaningful – it highlights how people are nothing but mindless slaves to the system, working our 9-5 jobs because that’s how it’s supposed to be – Who’s the Batman from this movie is bat-s**t crazy on steroids.
But that isn’t to say that it’s just random jokes for the sake of random jokes – though there are some of those too. It is, first and foremost, a song that celebrates Batman in a narcissistic yet truthful way.
“In the darkest night, huh,
I make the bad guys fall, huh,
There’s a million heroes,
BUT I’M THE BEST OF THEM ALL!”
Ask anyone and 9 out of 10 people would actually agree that Batman is the coolest, greatest, most awesome comic book hero of all time. My favourite verse though, comes somewhere at the very end.
“Who is the manliest man? (BATMAN!)
With the buns of steel? (BATMAN!)
Who could choke hold a bear? (BATMAN!)
Who never skips leg-day? (BATMAN!)
Who always pays their taxes (NOT BATMAN!)”
13. Batman Rogues Gallery
The most popular comic book villain of all time is undoubtedly The Joker, and so it’s only natural for The Joker to be the main villain in this movie. However, considering how Easter egg heavy The Lego Batman Movie is, it would be a shame if they didn’t at least tease other popular villains from the Batman Rogues gallery right?
Well, not to worry, because this movie extensively features not only the more popular Batman villains, but the obscure ones as well. The more well-known ones include Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Catwoman and Bane. And some of the obscure ones include the likes of Calendar Man, Egghead and Condiment King.
That’s right, Condiment King and Egghead are ACTUAL DC COMICS BATMAN VILLAINS. These ridiculous comic book villains serve as a reminder that, while we’re so used to a darker grittier version of Batman these days, Batman itself, for better or worse, is deep rooted in some cartoonish nonsense.
12. Famous Villains in the Phantom Zone
Okay, we knew going in that we would most likely be seeing the Batman Rogues gallery. But, what we didn’t know, is that we’ll be treated to some of other geekdom’s most popular villains as well. Midway through the movie, we see the Phantom Zone, which isn’t exactly a huge shocker since the Phantom Zone is part of DC comics. For those of you who do not know, the Phantom Zone is sort of like an intergalactic prison, prominently featured in the Superman comics. Prior to The Lego Batman Movie, It was most recently brought up on the big screen in Man of Steel.
Except, this wasn’t your ordinary Phantom Zone. The Phantom Zone in The Lego Batman consists of Lord Voldermort, The Eye of Sauron, King Kong, The Wicked Witch of the West (with flying monkeys), Daleks, Gremlins, dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, Jaws and a bunch of others that I honestly cannot recall.
11. Justice League Party
One of the biggest disappointments in this movie is the fact that the Justice League don’t really play a big role in the overall storyline. I know, I know, it’s LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, not LEGO JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE. However, seeing as how there were a bajillion non-DC comics villains involved in the climax, I don’t see why the Justice League couldn’t be involved as well.
Having said that, the Justice League did have one great scene in the movie. Batman and Robin devise a plan to break into the Fortress of Solitude. Only, when they get there, Superman is hosting a 57th Anniversary Justice League party and Batman wasn’t invited. This scene includes great cameos by Aquaman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Flash, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, The Wonder Twins, El Dorado, Martian Manhunter, and many more. And the DJ at the party is none other than Krypto the Superdog.
10. This Movie Gets the Batman Character Spot On
A lot of people tend to assume that I hate comedies. That cannot be further from the truth. I love comedies. What I hate is horrible unsubstantial comedies. Thankfully, The Lego Batman Movie is a brilliant comedy on all fronts. The Lego Batman Movie is essentially a Batman spoof and that is a dangerous line to ride.
However, it is made clear right from the very start, that screenwriters Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern and John Whittington really do understand Batman. And not just Batman renditions we’ve seen on the big screen. These guys understand the very essence of Batman in the comic books and they’re well versed with the history of Batman.
One of my favourite scenes in the movie happens somewhere at the very beginning of it. In an extended sequence, we see Batman at Wayne Manor, all alone. He watches movies alone, eats alone and plays his guitar alone. It is a funny sequence, but it’s also quite meaningful. Everybody wants to be Batman. He’s a cool, ass kicking machine. But what people don’t realize is, outside of the ass kicking, Batman leads a very lonely life.
9. Great Action Sequences
It’s not too often you hear someone say that an animation movie has excellent action sequences. But boy does this movie have that or what? I mean, sh*t gets really crazy.
We have Batman zooming around with his grappling hook, kicking ass. We have every single Batman Rogues gallery villain chasing him down, as he slowly destroys them one by one by one by one. Batmobile on auto-pilot crashing into the wall while stuff randomly explodes behind it in slow motion? Check. But it doesn’t just end there. Batman does a back flip into his moving Batmobile and then does some crazy sh*t he probably learned from Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift. And then, Joker comes in! Oh, the party is just getting started! He wants to destroy the city. So, Batman jumps on his Batplane while it’s moving and kicks more ass. Does any of this make any sense? No. Does it matter? Hell no.
8. Lacking in Emotion
The Lego Batman Movie, while extremely funny, is far from perfect. Perhaps the movie’s greatest weapon is also its singular weakness. Because The Lego Batman Movie is 200% high octane FUN, you’re not emotionally invested in the story on a deeper level. So, when the movie does attempt to be emotional and serious, it doesn’t necessarily land. In fact, every single time the movie slows down in an attempt to bring some real emotion to the movie, it’s extremely boring. There are times when Batman would just talk to Robin and Barbara Gordon and Alfred, and I can understand what the movie was going for, but it just didn’t click.
However, I guess the most important question you have to ask yourself is, “Does deep and serious really matter when you have an orgy of ass kicking, ingenious comedy, the best villains from geekdom and pants-less Robin?”
7. Relationship Between Batman and Joker
If you’re familiar with badminton, you’ll know that there’s no Lee Chong Wei without Lindan. As the sport’s greatest rivalry of all time, Lee Chong Wei and Lindan has given us some of the best matches of all time. And although they’re very much bitter rivals on court, in many ways, they complete each other.
And just like that, there is no Batman without the Joker. In Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger’s Joker says, “Kill you? I don’t wanna kill you. You complete me.” This yin and yang relationship between Batman and The Joker is once again explored in The Lego Batman movie. In fact, that is the driving plot of this movie. Joker, voiced wonderfully by Zach Galifianakis, wants Batman to recognize him as his greatest foe. “I hate you” he says. Batman shrugs it off. Batman says that Joker means nothing to him. And because of that, Joker doesn’t see the point in “working” anymore. He surrenders. But when that happens, Batman gets lonely and obsessed.
6. Strong Female Character
I love strong female characters. And in recent years, there’s been this push for more and more female characters to be given meatier roles – and by meatier, I do not mean their booty, but rather the depth of their characters. This push for strong female characters has seen hits and misses. For every Furiosa, we have whatever nonsense they fed us in the new Ghostbusters movie.
While The Lego Batman Movie did not have a female lead, the female character, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, is an actual proper fleshed out character that does justice to the comics. Past renditions of Batgirl have been disappointing to say the least. Who can forget the Joel Schumacher version of Batgirl? Alicia Silverstone was totally miscast (and so was everyone else in the movie), and the character itself is a complete joke (just like everything else in the movie). Surprisingly, even The Killing Joke animated movie didn’t necessarily do the character justice, choosing to portray her as more of a sex object.
The Lego Batman movie gets this character spot on. In this movie, Barbara Gordon, voiced by Rosario Dawson is smart and functions as a great leader.
5. It’s Much Better than the DCEU Movies
I might get a lot of flak for this, but who cares? It’s the truth. I’m not one of those guys who hates the movies churned out by the DCEU, thus far. I find Man of Steel, Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad to be relatively enjoyable affairs. However, these movies shouldn’t just be “relatively enjoyable,” they should be nothing short of GREAT. However, muddled plots and crappy scripts have really prevented these movies from reaching their full potential.
Just like how I don’t hate the DCEU movies, I don’t love The Lego Batman Movie. But is it better than the DCEU? Hell yeah. The plot is simple. And while the pacing is a little off here and there, the script is tight for the most part. Most importantly, the writers and director managed to capture the true essence of all the main characters. On top of that, The Lego Batman Movie managed to include a bajillion characters without them feeling as if they’re shoehorned in.
4. Iron Man Sucks
One of my favourite jokes in the movie is the password to the Batcave. When we get a first look at the Batcave in this movie, we see Batman walking in and then his computer – very similar to Jarvis – asks him, “password?” And he says, “Iron Man sucks.” The whole cinema burst out laughing. On the surface, this may seem like a random “fart joke” of sorts, but it really isn’t.
This is an obvious dig at the Iron Man character, who is in many ways Marvel’s version of Batman. Both Batman and Iron Man do not have superpowers, but rather use their brains and money to build amazing gadgets. Both Batman and Iron Man are billionaires. Both Batman and Iron Man are playboys. Both of them are emotionally damaged and both of them spend most of their time alone. This one line, “Iron Man sucks,” is DC telling Marvel, that they have the cooler billionaire and that DC is better than Marvel. Of course, it’s done in a loving way, that’s clearly just for laughs.
3. DCEU References
One of the more surprising parts of this movie is the fact that it wasn’t afraid to take jabs at the DCEU. Making jokes out of the older Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher and Christopher Nolan movies are one thing, but to actually poke fun of your current ongoing property, especially a property that is already being destroyed by the general masses, is something I did not expect Warner Bros. to allow.
Some of the more obvious jokes directed at the DCEU are:
– Early on in the film, Joker tries to convince Batman that he’s Batman’s greatest foe. And Batman says, “No. Superman is.” And Joker says, “But Superman isn’t even a bad guy.”
– Batman is presented with the idea of unleashing the Batman Rogues gallery to help take down the villains from the Phantom Zone. Batman questions the insanity of expecting bad guys to help a good cause.
– There’s a joke about how Killer Croc didn’t do anything in Suicide Squad.
2. Appeals to Both Adults and Kids
One thing I hate about movies like Minions or Sing is the fact that they use “this is a movie for kids” as an excuse for horrible writing which consists of nothing but a compilation of fart jokes and/or surface level storytelling. No, those movies are not for kids. Those movies are for morons. Those are the kind of movies you’ll ask your kid to watch if you want him/her to grow up to be the next Donald Trump.
The Lego Batman Movie is not one of those movies. Sure, it’s an animation and so it does cater to kids, but this is no way in hell just a kids’ movie. It is layered, with some very well written characters and the comedy actually requires audience members to use their brains. While not as great, The Lego Batman Movie does belong in the same category as comedies like Deadpool, Zombieland and The Cornetto Trilogy.
1. Not Convoluted
One of my biggest problems with Batman V Superman – and a lot of other movies that end up falling on their head – is when the directors and screenwriters try to do too much and the movie ends up being a convoluted mess. In my Batman V Superman review, I wrote:
“The movie tries to juggle too many things at once. It’s a movie about Batman, which includes a brief look at Batman’s past. It’s also a movie on politics – Superman vs The People. It’s also about journalism. It’s also about Batman vs Superman and It’s also an introduction to The Justice League. It tries to choke on too many d**ks at once, without making any c*m. It is essentially a 2 hours 40 minutes long teaser and a dozen hanging blue balls.”
The Lego Batman Movie is not like that. The premise is simple. Joker wants Batman to regard him as his greatest foe. Egotistical Batman does not think so. They fight each other. That’s it. That’s the story and it’s awesome.