When a box from Moviepilot's offices showed up at my door the other day, I had no idea what to expect when I opened it. Little did I realize I was about to be introduced to one of my new favorite Lego films... and that's coming from a guy who watched The Lego Movie five times in the first week after buying it. But what makes this film so spectacular? Let's look at the (mostly spoiler-free) details!
The Entertainment Factor
When I started this film, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. Two minutes in, I was hooked. It all started when the villain of the film, Brainiac, said something that no GPS owner wants to hear: "RECALCULATING".
The thing I very quickly realized about this incarnation of Brainiac is that he was both extremely silly, almost campy even, and yet, was still shown as being a dangerous and capable adversary to the Justice League. The scene transitioned to the opening sequence, and I was struck by how much it resembled the intro to Friends. No, the Justice League didn't come hang out on a couch in Central Park, but the overall vibe of teamwork and having one another's backs felt very reminiscent of the intro to everyone's favorite sitcom.
Another thing I loved about this film is how full of Easter Eggs it was! You have to really pay attention, because not all of them will be blatantly obvious. I've watched the film twice already and still noticed things I missed the first time around! Let's look at a few of them!
Yep, that's right! The villain of Legends of Tomorrow has two cameos in this film, once near the beginning, in our own time, and a second in his original prehistoric time.
Remember that time travel gizmo on The Flash that they keep teasing but never build? Yeah, that's a cosmic treadmill. For the record, there is a treadmill in S.T.A.R. Labs, but it's not cosmic. At least, not yet.
The Legion of Superheroes!
"We were the Legion of Superheroes... now we're what's left of them." Yes, there is a post-apocalypse scene, in which the shattered younger generation of the Legion of Superheroes play a key role in helping to defeat Brainiac.
The Karate Kid!
Yes, there actually is a brief reference in this movie to the Karate Kid. The films themselves are not referenced directly, but one of the Legion of Superheroes claims that one of her moves is "just a little something the Karate Kid taught me!"
Now that we've explored some of the Easter Eggs, let's look at the animation of this film! One of the key elements (pardon the pun) of any Lego film is that they have to try to make it feel like you're actually in a world composed of plastic bricks rather than watching just another cartoon. They succeed in this goal time and time again, and this film is no exception!
Brainiac, a sentient robot, comes to the planet Earatavikslu, intending to add it to his collection of planets, but when the compressed Earatavikslu deflates like a balloon, Brainiac decides he must find a replacement that will alphabetically fit between Duzizz and Eberth. He sets his sights on Earth, but his plan meets an unexpected comeuppance: the Justice League. After a space battle which severely damages his ship, Brainiac returns to his home planet of Brainiac Prime for repairs. His two mutinous lackeys, Brainiac 1.2 and Brainiac 1.3, angrily concede and begin working. Returning to Earth in the smaller "premium vessel", Brainiac's onboard computer determines Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman to be the biggest threats to his mission.
Brainiac accordingly zaps each of the three heroes to a different time, and it's up to Batman, Flash, Cyborg, and Supergirl to rescue them.
The humor of this film is everything you'd expect from a Lego movie. Interestingly, Lego avoided doing something they are known for doing quite frequently: using Lego-based humor. That is, they often include jokes that work only because their characters are Lego and would not fit in a live action film. Some of the best examples of humor from this film are lines like Green Lantern's "I'll bet he's got kryptonite in his back pocket right now." To which Batman responds, "I don't have back pockets." Another example is Supergirl's overconfidence in herself: "Focused? They don’t come much more focused than me, Cyborg! Oh, look! A kitten!” Brainiac too, is not without his humorous moments, such as when he says, “All the other Brainiacs now advance two numbers in rank. That should be good for morale!”
The Replay Value
So, the big question is, is this film worth watching more than once? My answer is: DEFINITELY! This film is stupendous on a variety of levels, and it is so nuanced that you probably won't catch everything the first time through!
What do you think of Lego's DC Superheroes: Cosmic Clash?