Thursday, 16 February 2017

REVIEW - THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (CHRIS MCKAY)


Here, now, in Trump's America, it's more important than ever to prepare for the worst, whether or not you intend to continue hoping for the best. We ought to have seen this coming, given what happened to the Transformers franchise after its vaguely-promising first film. The Lego Batman Movie doubles down on all the things that made its predecessor famous, if not made it successful; it's a distillation of its most questionable attributes, fitting the same formula to a premise altered only to better serve its worst qualities. That it's aesthetically impressive, with outstanding effects, is of negligible worth by the time it has overused its every visual motif; that it's funny is of equal worth by the time it has negated each clever quip with an ignorant or overworked one. No matter how hard he tries - and would one ever given such a wilfully noxious protagonist - the heterosexual white man just can't seem to get woke, and the viewer might wish Chris McKay and his team of five writers had just embraced this character's fascistic tendencies comme Christopher Nolan and run with it. But Warner Bros. knows what its demographic wants these days, and how to placate a gullible audience of would-be detractors; Lego knows what sells too, and there's nothing at all fundamentally intelligent or aware about bricks. The Lego Batman Movie is cheap, simplistic pandering to very little effect, and only rescued by its own intermittent technical competence. Colourful fun for the kids, no doubt, though perhaps that's all it is for the rest of us too.