Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Lego Batman Movie (U)


That was me when the news was announced. And again when I saw the trailer.

Then I saw the film...

Now, let's be clear from the start here - The Lego Movie was just all kinds of wonderful awesomeness.

And that's a high bar to be hitting again, I get that.

And to be fair, for the opening 20 minutes or so you're not waiting around for the laughs - the gags come thick and fast, and they're hitting on all levels and for all age groups.

And, sure, it would be tough to maintain that level for 90 minutes. Even the Naked Gun team struggled.

But the drop off is so great in the middle of the film that you actually start thinking about the plot and all the extra characters, you start wondering about where the film is going, you start pondering what to have for tea.

And none of these things are good.

Things kind of get dragged back on track for the closing stages, but by then you find yourself tired of waiting so the gags have to work harder to hit the earlier high points.

And not all of them do. Which is a crying shame.

All of which, amazingly, fails to sink this film.

The opening sequence is nothing short of brilliant, and the early gags are strong enough to buy the film a grace period, so that all helps.

And the 'Lego' aspect is, naturally, flawless.

The little clicks and clacks of those little legs running along or sticking to bits is as perfects as it was last time round, and Will Arnett's work as Bats is great.

It's brash, bright and colourful to boot, so that'll keep the younger members of the audience entertained while the grown-ups wonder if they've locked the car.

Maybe it is because The Lego Movie was just so good that Batman falls short - maybe the weight of expectation dragged the Caped Crusader down a smidge.

Or maybe the team were just trying too hard and ran out of steam. That might explain why Daleks were kicking about for a while.

I can forgive the fact this film was a 90-minute advert for plastic bricks - you have to buy into that at the door - but I'm struggling to forgive the lack of laughs in the second half.

Yet, I can't bring myself to hate it. Those opening gags were superb, genuinely ROFL out loud funny.

Lego still gets a lot of love from the first film, and there's enough here to entertain the target market - but they'll need to up their game if there's to be a third outing.

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