THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
There are big changes brewing in Gotham City, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.
The Lego Movie was one of the best surprises of recent memory, a movie that was not only really good but incredible, it’s one of my new all-time favorite movies so of course, there was a lot of high expectations going into The Lego Batman Movie and….yeah, I was not disappointed at all….for the most part, I’ll talk more about that later on.
But yeah, this movie was so damn good, maybe not as good as The Lego Movie but, this is still one of the most fun movies I’ve seen in a theater in a long time.
Much like The Lego Movie, the animation is so crisp, vibrant, and colorful and I think this movie absolutely does everything to top itself in terms of the animation, there’s so much to admire, it’s fast paced, it’s just beautiful to look at, the scene where Batman is flying over the river and the water splashes on the camera, it’s awe-inspiring on how much time and effort went into the animation.
The voice cast is excellent, not only do you have people like Will Arnett as Batman, Michael Cera as Robin, Ralph Finnes as Alfred, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon, and Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, you also have a pretty packed voice cast including Mariah Carey, Hector Elizondo, Jenny Slate, Billy Dee Williams, Conan O’Brien, Chris Hardwick, Jason Mantzoukas, Doug Benson, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Ellie Kemper, Riki Lindhome, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, and all of them do such a good job of hiding their voices to the point where about 75% of the cast you could barely recognize until you saw the end credits. They all did a really good job in this and there was not one person in this cast that was wasted.
The comedy is even funnier than it was in The Lego Movie, they do Batman so wrong in this but in a good way, they are brutally honest about the past incarnations of Batman including the movies, the TV shows, the comics, everything and my god, the jokes in this movie are so good, there are easy jokes to get and then, there are those jokes where you really need to know a lot about the history of Batman including news stories relating to Batman, there’s a great running gag in this that references Robert Downey Jr.’s remarks back when the first Iron Man came out about how he didn’t like The Dark Knight and how they make a joke about that throughout the movie gave me a good hard laugh. They even threw in an Arrested Development joke based on Arnett’s character in there. That’s how great the jokes are, this is a movie where you need to see it several times to get all the jokes, and rightfully so.
Now, there are a couple of flaws with the film that I did have, mostly nitpicks. One, I think that the overall message and heart of the movie was not here like it was in The Lego Movie. The main message in The Lego Movie was essentially that you don’t have to be a bad guy and you have to accept creativity in the world. In this, it’s just like “hey Batman, quit being such a damn loaner and be more open to people”, that’s about it. If the moral had been written better, I think they would’ve had something on the levels of The Lego Movie.
Kind of another thing against the movie is that there wasn’t much done with the Justice League, after that one scene in the Fortress Of Solitude, they are never seen in the movie again. The trailers made it seem like they were going to be in the movie more but they barely are in the movie. I mean, okay, there was already enough characters in the Batman lore in the cast so to add more of those characters probably would’ve been overkill. That or they’re just saving them for their own spinoff movies. I can’t wait to see the Lego Superman & Green Lantern buddy comedy…oh wait, 21 Jump Street, never mind.
Overall, The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t quite reach the ecstatic levels that The Lego Movie did to become one of my new favorite movies but you know what, it’s still a really damn good movie, the animation is top notch, the voice cast is great, the comedy is really solid, there’s just so much fun to be had with this movie and you would be crazy not to love this movie, it’s the best movie I’ve seen all year so far.
JOHN WICK CHAPTER TWO
After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.
Now to be perfectly honest, I was not quite the biggest fan of the first John Wick, I did like it but I wasn’t gaga crazy over it like many people were. But over time, I have grown to like it the more I watch it.
And with John Wick Chapter 2, everything that made the first John Wick so enjoyable is back in this movie and almost as good as it’s been before…almost….
The one real downside to this film is that I think the story this time around is not really all that strong unlike the first film. In the first movie, you could see why Wick had to come back in the game, they killed his dog, the last connection to his deceased wife, and you know he has to get his revenge now and that was what the film was about, getting revenge and kicking ass with bad ass action scenes to go along with it. To its’ credit though, at least I give this movie credit for not just simply retreading the story around like the first film did unlike a certain action franchise that thought it could do the same thing and failing miserably, *cough*Taken*cough*. The story just wasn’t as exciting as it was in the first film.
But what was exciting was the action sequences, once again, they are just as epic and exciting as they were in the first film but not only that, they up the stakes on how much action badassness there can be and it’s just so fun to watch.
Keanu Reeves once again fills the role of John Wick very well, the rest of the cast has their fair share of moments including Common, Laurence Fishburne, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Ruby Rose, and Lance Reddick.
There really isn’t much more you could ask for with John Wick Chapter Two, I was really afraid this was going to be another case of sequelitis but they up the ante in the action department enough to make for one hell of a great ride. A slightly better movie than the first John Wick and I really hope this trend continues into the inevitable John Wick Chapter 3, which you know will be coming up soon.
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