We were invited to a sneak preview of the LEGO Batman movie last week and we were shocked that the teens wanted to go with us. Finding a family movie that teens are interested in seeing is very rare. This is the second movie in the Warner Bros. series that follows the extremely successful and original LEGO Movie. Batman is the lead character in this movie, and he attempts to save the city from the Joker’s hostile takeover. During the movie, Batman runs into nearly every single comic book character that he has ever encountered. If you enjoyed the original LEGO movie, you will love this one too, as all the characters make fun of themselves starting with the opening credits. This movie is brilliant in that it works on two very different levels. It somehow appeals to both kids and adults equally. Most kids movies are dreadful for adults, and adult movies are usually inappropriate for kids. In some ways this movie felt like a Deadpool for kids, it was very sarcastic and didn’t take itself seriously. The best part is that this movie is really appropriate for any age child. As we discussed the movie on the car ride home we asked the kids if they remembered any bad words at all. Our daughter quietly said, “They did say Dick”. She was right, and the joke went something like this: ”He’s Richard Greyson. His friends call him Dick.” That’s it. That’s officially the only bad word in the movie that we heard. If you are concerned about taking your kids to see this movie you should know: there is no swearing (they even say “heck hole” instead of hellhole), the violence is cartoony (the characters say “pew pew pew” when shooting instead of a gun sound and they say that their weapons are “non-lethal”.
The LEGO Batman movie uses a mix of old school and new school Batman and it is so much fun. You get the “na na na na na na na na na BATMAN” theme alongside references to The Dark Knight, the 60s shows and everything in between. They also included every Batman villain I could think of, including my favorite: Condiment King. When Robin went to get a new costume he ended up in the Nightwing suit while Alfred found one from the original tv show. This gives you even more depth to the Batman history lesson. The Joker is the other main character in the movie who is a mix of mostly the new Joker from Suicide Squad, in terms of how he looks and the old tv show character. The Joker is far more comical than menacing and all he wants is for Batman to recognize him as his greatest nemesis. They treat this relationship almost like a boyfriend/girlfriend where the Joker hates (instead of loves) Batman more than Batman hates him. The Joker character can be scary in other settings, but here they make him look menacing while his actions are generally funny.
The stars behind the voices are easily recognized throughout the movie. Will Arnett is awesome as the voice of Batman, Zach Galifianakis is perfect as the Joker’s voice, and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred. Even Mariah Carey has a sweet cameo in the movie. The music in the LEGO Batman movie is used to convey emotions and feelings and is also used to show us what Batman is thinking, because he can’t tell us since he holds all his emotions in. We heard “I just died in your arms tonight” when he saw Barbara and “One is the loneliest number” was played while Batman was alone and feeling sad. These songs were so expertly placed and matched each scene perfectly with each situation. These, like many other jokes, might go over the heads of the younger kids, but will delight the adults.
The last thing about this movie is the incredibly cool way that LEGOs are worked into to every scene. It must have taken so much time and skill to create the masterpiece that we enjoyed. If your kids are anything like ours, they will love this movie. Our 9,12 and 15 year olds all gave it 2 huge thumbs up. It is such a pleasure to be able to take your kids to a movie without having to worry about bad language, violence or too much sex. Plan a fun movie date WITH your kids, and enjoy this fantastic movie. And remember, always be yourself, unless you can be BATMAN.