THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE: It’s funny how some of the movies I thought were so cool when I saw them as a child turned out to be so lame when I viewed them after I got older. Six-year-olds currently engaged by this follow-up to the ingeniously clever and humorous THE LEGO MOVIE (2014) are sure to eventually realize what a disappointing piece of work this is by the time they reach their teen years. The movie attempts what I call “the Pixar formula” where characters and visuals are geared to draw kids in while writing dialogue aimed at parents/adults watching with them. It works for about the first fifteen minutes of this film from Warner Brothers which begins promisingly with a pretty funny screenplay authored by four writers that includes self-referential barbs directed at previous Batman flicks and that “weird TV show back in the ‘60s”. After that, the movie degenerates into a formulaic by-the-numbers sequel that plays more like a film as licensing and merchandising agreement. The overall theme of the work and its gas station toilet paper thin plot is that not even the Caped Crusader (voiced by Will Arnett) should work or be alone without assistance from others. That idea, which drove the preceding movie devolves into “joking the joke” where it becomes so repetitive that it’s literally run into the ground…even by The Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) who insists that Batman refer to him as his “greatest enemy”. Isn’t that funny? No, I didn’t think so either. To paraphrase the late B.B. King, the thrill and novelty of the first movie is gone. Even the frantic, non-stop action within the narrative is derailed by an unimaginative plot that gives new meaning to the word “recycled”. This is a markedly unfunny superhero spoof that wastes a lot of talent and time and is yet another cinematic misfire involving characters from the DC Comics’ universe. CRITIC’S GRADE: C
CLOSING CREDITS: Here are My Fearless Oscar Predictions on who will take home an Academy Award this Sunday night.
BEST PICTURE: LA LA LAND
BEST ACTOR: Denzel Washington, FENCES
BEST ACTRESS: Emma Stone, LA LA LAND
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali, MOONLIGHT
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Viola Davis, FENCES
BEST DIRECTOR: Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: MOONLIGHT
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: ZOOTOPIA
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: THE SALESMAN
So let it be written. So let it be done.