A Non Spoilery Lego Justice League: Gotham City Breakout Movie Review
by Siike Donnelly
A quick disclaimer! I’m a part-time employee of the Lego Group. I work in one of their retail stores and really love my job. I’m also a huge DC Comics fan. When the opportunity arose to attend the West Coast Premiere of Lego Justice League: Gotham City Breakout, I first checked to make sure it was okay. It was, especially considering how I literally had nothing to do with the movie. Once I was cleared for takeoff, I attended the premiere, got interviews with cast and crew (which you can watch on my YouTube Channel all week), and watched the film! Here are my thoughts:
Gotham City Breakout, which is available TODAY on Digital, DVD, and Blu-Ray, has my favorite opening out of any DC Lego film thus far. Without spoiling too much, let’s just say you get some great nods to these heroes’ most iconic comic book moments. It’s really well done and a nice treat for the older fan. That’s one of the things I like most about these DC Lego films, and Gotham City Breakout is no exception; the fan service. But fan service that doesn’t take away from this story or these versions of the characters.
The overall plot is that Batman’s allies feel he needs some time away from Gotham. He’s never taken a day off since becoming Batman and he’s a bit of a jerk at times; more so than usual. Superman offers to watch Gotham with Robin while Batman, Batgirl, and Nightwing go on vacation. And for those who feel Batman would NEVER do this, just watch the film. It’s pretty funny, kind of plausible for the character, and helps set up what turned out to be one of the most fun Lego DC adventures to date.
Superman is a bit arrogant in this, but not as a jerk. He’s just very confident he can handle the criminals of Gotham while Batman’s away. Sadly, he’s mistaken, and is not ready for Joker’s latest scheme, or his trusty new sidekick, Spoony. Superman struggles greatly with the criminals of Gotham City, which leads to a ton of fun Superman moments. You actually see a lot more Clark Kent in his Superman throughout the story, the way he keeps messing things up in a kind of innocent way. As a Superman fan, I really like that, because I never felt Clark Kent was a confident guy. I feel he only pretends to be so when he’s Superman, because he’s trying to be a symbol. This movie does a good job of giving us shades of Clark while he’s Superman, which I personally loved.
Batman’s vacation, of course, turns out to be a disaster. This is where most of the story is focused as Nightwing and Batgirl bring Batman to an island to visit one of his former teachers, Madame Mantis. The trip turns south quickly, revealing a big plot involving an underground society, and two of DC’s most deadly villains.
There’s a lot of heart to this side of the story, I found, but still plenty of fun and humor. There are nods to other Batman cartoons, to the Batman & Robin film, and even a great throwback to the Adam West 1966 Batman series. The story also has a moral message about obtaining a weapon, and the dangers and responsibilities of wielding it, while still having one seemingly weak character standing up to a bully. This movie is very well balanced with all the styles it juggles.
Back in Gotham, Superman has to phone a few friends to help him out, since he isn’t doing so well against the rogues of Batman’s city. Again, there’s a lot more humor here, with Joker and company proving that only someone like Batman can take them down. It doesn’t make the Justice League look incompetent by any means, but more shows the ruthlessness and cunning of Batman’s villains. I appreciate that.
All in all, I would highly recommend this film to anyone with kids who love fun cartoons, or who are starting to get into the DC Universe characters. Even as an adult, there were so many references and in-jokes to past incarnations of these legendary characters that I had a blast watching it. The voice actors were all fantastic, which is usually the case in anything DC Animated.
I won’t spoil too much on the villains and other heroes, so I will just say the actors that portrayed them all did a fantastic job, with one of my favorites being the very talented Amy Hill playing Madame Mantis. She was great, as were the very proper speaking, yet snorty, underdwellers. The script was fun, the directors did any amazing job, and the whole team put together one seriously fun Lego adventure.
If you’re a Batman fan, pick Lego Justice League: Gotham City Breakout up today! It’s great for fans of all ages.
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