February 14, 2017 -- The first Lego movie I saw three years ago was a very clever infomercial about a product, but this one, while also very clever, has a lot more heart. It explores the humanity of heroes and villains more than any live action Batman movie ever did, while spoofing superhero movies at the same time.
In this story, Batman's emotional childhood wounds have made him incapable of having any meaningful personal relationships with other people, including his faithful butler, Alfred. He is also incapable of partnering with other people or organizations to fight crime. He is a loner, he is an island and he finds his life somewhat empty.
Batman foils the Joker's latest attack single handedly and tells the Joker that he does not consider the him to be an arch enemy. Batman tells the Joker that he means nothing to him, which hurts the Joker's feelings. However, this encounter reveals Batman's emotional weakness and gives the Joker an idea of how to defeat him.
Batman is dealt another blow by the new police commissioner of Gotham City, Barbara Gordon, daughter of the previous police commissioner. She has new ideas about how to fight crime, and they do not include vigilantes operating on their own. She offers to work with Batman, but he refuses to cooperate.
Eventually, when the Joker's clever plan comes to fruition, releasing a whole slew of super villains from the Phantom Zone (that's a Superman thing) Batman is finally forced to admit that he needs help from Barbara (Batgirl) Alfred, and his adopted son, Dick Grayson (Robin) and a slew of other people. The super villains include Harry Potter's Lord Voldemort, King Kong, the Daleks (from Dr. Who) Agent Smith (from The Matrix movies) and Sauron (from Lord of the Rings).
In the end, Batman must face his inner demons, but even more surprisingly, he learns to recognize the humanity in his old nemesis, too. Every superhero needs a good villain to make a good story. Batman finally says the three words to Joker that has longed to hear, “I hate you.” This makes the Joker happy. This ties in to another running theme in the film, the “You complete me” line from the movie “Jerry Maguire,” clips from which are shown in the course of this film.
Whatever happens over the next 10 months, I think this film will be in the running for the best animated film of 2017, and it might make some top 10 lists for best film overall, too. It is funny, it is clever, it is emotionally powerful because of its insight into human nature. This film rates an A.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.