For the past eight years, The Dark Knight has been accepted as the greatest Batman adaptation ever. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s phenomenally directed, has a great story, immortal moments, great quotes — you know, it’s the full package.
Since then, there have been five games and two films involving Batman, out of which three games and one film were phenomenal — but they’ve all fallen short of the benchmark set by The Dark Knight.
Well, guess what? That could be about to change.
Earlier this fortnight, we were treated to two teasers of The LEGO Batman Movie, and both of them are brimming with so much potential that they look set to join the ranks of The Dark Knight.
You’ve probably already seen them a zillion times (and if you haven’t, shame on you) but here they are once again, in all their absurd glory:
That’s reason enough, right? Damn right, it is.
But wait, that’s not all!
Ready? Here we go.
1. Gob Bluth Is Batman
Will Arnett is a comedy God, and he needs to be treated as such. His Gob Bluth is the reason Arrested Development was as funny as it was, and his absurd shenanigans made the series so beloved. Even in the slightly polarizing fourth season, fans and critics agreed the whole thing blasted off into the stratosphere once he came into the play. There’s really no surprise he’s everyone’s favorite character on Arrested Development.
The film will reportedly explore a softer and funnier side of Batman, where he deals with his issues with inadequacy, working with other people and his failed career as a musician, all of which Arnett truly sold and made his own in Arrested Development (although there his thing was magic).
You just give me Batman admitting he made a huge mistake and have Simon and Garfunkel’s "The Sound of Silence" play once, and I’ll give you a standing ovation. Seeing LEGO’s love for pop-culture riffing, I’m expecting tons of Arrested Development Easter Eggs.
2. The Excellent Voice Cast
Aside from the near perfect casting of Will Arnett, you have fellow Arrested Development alum Michael Cera voicing Robin (if Batman and Robin’s dynamic is anything like Gob and George Michael’s, this one is in the bag already), you have Rosario Dawson (Daredevil) voicing Batgirl, you have the impeccably English Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort!) playing Alfred, and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) as the Joker.
While you would have doubted a serious thespian like Fiennes to pull off a decidedly comedic role in an animated movie, the trailer puts all those doubts to rest as he’s as hilarious as he was in The Grand Budapest Hotel and seems to be channelling that character here.
Zach Galifianakis is a fine comedic actor, although I’ll need to see his Joker before passing judgement. I would assume he’ll go the funnier Mark Hamill route (who is my personal favorite, BTW) as opposed to the darker Leto/Ledger/Nicholson route, but let’s wait.
3. The Visuals
The LEGO Movie was gorgeous looking with how it blended stop-motion animation with CGI and LEGO Batman seems to be following the same directive.
And why shouldn’t it?
You have an excellent setup; ain’t broke, don’t fix.
4. The Uniqueness
Batman has always been an inherently dark and complex character, and that seriousness has defined every movie or video game he’s been in (it’s one of the reasons Batman v Superman has been so heavily criticized, because the seriousness feels artificial and forced) and LEGO Batman completely rips it apart by parodying it. It’s one of the reasons it feels so unique, instead of going back to the camp of ‘60s Adam West Batman, it has decided to put a whole new spin on it.
Plus, who can forget the hilarious "Darkness, No Parents" song from The LEGO Movie?
Build your entire movie around that theme and bazinga.
5. It’s Essentially 'Deadpool' For Kids
If the film’s self-referentialism, self-depreciation and fourth wall breaking seem familiar, you’re not alone. Deadpool already tried that this spring, and was a huge success. The R-rating seemed to be a barrier in its accessibility, but there are no such barriers when it comes to The LEGO Batman movie, and it’s all set to provide the same experience in a less NSFW package to kids.
All said and done, while The LEGO Batman Movie could have easily been a cash-grab spinoff, I’m sure it’s not going to be. And with the hard work that the creative team has put in, it’s definitely going to be the biggest Batman thing since The Dark Knight.
That’s my opinion about The LEGO Batman Movie. Do you agree? do you disagree? do you feel I missed something? Do let me know in the comments below!
If you want more Batman related stuff, check out my honest, objective review of Batman v Superman and my thoughts on how Warner Bros. should fast-track Affleck’s solo Batman film!
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