Lego Justice League: Gotham City Breakout
Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League Gotham City Breakout 2016
This is the latest in one of the many DC animated series that have been coming from Warner bros, typically all focused on either Batman or the Justice League. It follows the same general pattern where it’s much more kid friendly than the Warner Premier PG-13 movies, but it also has a lot more humor that adults will get a kick out of unlike the Batman Unlimited series. It seems like this one really cranked the jokes up to 11, especially if you’re a longtime fan of Batman with several references to the Adam West series and two plots going on at once which keep things going at a near breakneck pace. So far, this has been my favorite of all the Lego DC movies and a lot of fun, especially if you have kids.
The basic premise of this film is that the Justice League comes together on the anniversary of the Batman to give him a vacation, and meanwhile Superman takes over Batman’s job of protecting Gotham City. Of course, neither of these two things go as planned as the Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and overconfident Superman ends up making things worse and getting in over his head. Meanwhile, Batgirl and Nightwing take Batman on a trip down memory lane that ends up leading them into a plot between Bane and Deathstroke to use a hidden tribe of Trogowogs to take over the world.
As far as the characters go, Batman is once again played by Troy Baker who does his same cross between the Batman from Brave and the Bold and Will Arnett’s Lego Batman. He’s extremely arrogant and essentially all-knowing as he deduces nearly every plot before the villain (or the surprise party coordinator) is able to explain it themselves. There’s also Madam Mantis, a very cantankerous woman who trained a young Bruce Wayne and Slade Wilson in her martial arts techniques as she names them with variations on their actual names with Batface and Strokedeath. The Trogowogs are rather interesting characters, they look like a race of tribal Frankenstein monsters, but they speak like the erudite Goofy Gophers from early Looney Tunes except for the occasional pig grunt. Superman is played as an overconfident boy scout, laughing off Batman’s non-superpowered villains until they completely get the drop on him even after he calls in Cyborg and Wonder Woman for help.
The movie does a good job at cutting back and forth between the two stories without leaving one hanging for too long. It was also nice to have the entire cast of Teen Titans Go reprise their voice roles here, even though Robin isn’t Dick Grayson but one of the other unnamed Robins. He acts very much like the traditional Dick Grayson Robin, but obviously isn’t since Nightwing is Dick Grayson. They even toss out a couple “Holy _____” jokes at Nightwing’s expense though the granddaddy of all the Adam West era references is when they bust out with the Batusi in the most unexpected way.
Since this is a kid’s movie, there is the slightest hint of a moral or lesson to be learned at the heart of what’s going on, honestly a few if you look closely enough. There’s the fact that Superman eventually has to ask for help and learn a different way to do things when his way doesn’t work. Deathstroke also learns a bit of an honor code over what happens with the Trogowogs and Bane. But the most obvious one is how the Trogowog prince learns how to be brave in the face of fear. While they are all very simplistic lessons, they’re not overt in any way and take a back seat to the rest of the story and especially the humor. There’s not really much more to say about this film, it was a nice change of pace to see a few more prominent female roles in a usually male dominated cast. Batgirl and Madam Mantis both have prominent roles, and Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy have notable roles. One of the biggest fun moments was how they kept the running joke of Spoony, the spoon that Joker used to dig out of Arkham with, drew a face on, and also gave a voice to. It’s just the simple things sometimes that bring the most laughs. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.