The LEGO Batman Movie Parent Review
Parents and older teens will likely find plenty to laugh at in this animation -- but you might want to leave the littlest ones at home.
The LEGO Batman Movie poses an interesting question within its opening minutes: Would we need good guys, that is superheroes, if we didn’t have bad guys? Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) is quite comfortable saving Gotham City singlehandedly. But when his usual nemeses The Joker (voice of Zach Galifianakis) surprises him by surrendering himself to Gotham City police, Batman is out of a job.
Of course, the lipstick fiend has ulterior motives. Playing with Batman’s vanity he manages to amass an army of other evil villains and attack the city. He also has a personal vendetta to pursue with the Dark Knight.
The conflict between these opposing forces provides plenty of frenetic action throughout. Obviously, there’s no explicit carnage in a LEGO movie but the frequent peril may still be frightening to younger audiences. Even worse, this overabundance of mayhem often obscures the positive messages within this script.
Fixing Batman’s narcissistic is tendencies the primary target of this film’s moral objective. His ego gets in the way of forming sincere relationships, as well as accepting help from others. These characteristics will be challenged after he falls in love with the new police commissioner (voice of Rosario Dawson), unwittingly agrees to adopt an obsessively admiring boy (voice of Michael Cera), and listens to his butler Alfred’s (voice of Ralph Fiennes) fatherly counsel.
Themes of teamwork may also be a little confusing to children when possible allies include a legion of criminals who aren’t quite as bad as the really, really bad dudes that align with The Joker. Yes, this isn’t the only movie on screens with fifty shades of grey, and parents should be prepared to discuss the good and bad traits that exist in all of us.
Although sight gags, like young Robin pulling his pants off, will keep kids amused, most of the humor here comes from sarcastic cultural references, decades of Batman depictions and other iconic characters. Parents and older teens will likely find plenty to laugh at, but you might want to leave the littlest ones at home.Directed by Chris McKay. Starring Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release February 10, 2017. Updated February 10, 2017
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in The LEGO Batman Movie here.
The LEGO Batman Movie Parents Guide
Although Batman is a superhero, he does have a weakness. What is it? How does his ego sometimes cause him to behave like a bad guy instead of a good guy?
What is the relationship between heroes and villains? Can you have one without the other? What would a good guy do if there were no bad guys to chase? What kind of a world would we live in if no one was trying to thwart evil? How does this movie poke fun at the interconnectedness of these opposing forces?
Batman says he works alone. What are some of the problems with his policy? Why is teamwork more effective than a single person’s best efforts? What things happen in this film to help this superhero understand that principle?