Editor’s Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided us with a copy of the film reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are of the author’s alone.
Batman takes a vacation which turns out to be less restful than planned leaving behind Superman to deal with Gotham’s weird assortment of criminals in Lego’s new movie, Gotham City Breakout.
Truth, Justice and Spoilers below…
While Batman and Robin capture Penguin, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy during a jewel heist, Batman spies a mysterious figure watching the action. Batman gives chase and finds that it is Nightwing who has lured him to a party celebrating the anniversary of Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. As an anniversary present Superman offers to keep an eye on Gotham while Batman goes on a vacation with Batgirl and Nightwing. The strident, workaholic Batman reluctantly agrees. Robin stays behind to help Superman as the three leave Gotham in the Batplane.
In Arkham, Joker sees the Batplane leaving Gotham and realizes it is a good time to escape and begins to tunnel out of Arkham.
Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl arrive at the island of Madame Mantis, one of Batman’s mentors. Madame Mantis fights Batman to see if he has retained the skills she taught him. Madame Mantis tells Batman he must use the ‘Forbidden Move’ to defeat her. Instead, Batman pulls off Mantis’ mask to reveal an impostor, a Trogowog. A smoke bomb allows the Trogowog to get away but not before Batman sees Deathstroke running with the fake Mantis. Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl chase the two across the island. The trail leads to a watery cave which the trio use the Bat-hovercraft to navigate.
As they explore the underground river Batman explains that he and Deathstroke were both students of Madame Mantis and best of friends. Their friendship was broken by Mantis’ preferential treatment of Bruce, who was the only one she deemed worthy to teach the ‘Forbidden Move’.
Suddenly, the three are surrounded by a Trogowog army and they surrender. The captured Bat-family are led by Deathstroke to the real master villain, Bane. Bane is using the Psych Stone to control the Trogowogs into his personal army so that he can take over the world. He needs the Forbidden Move to succeed however. They were unable to get the move from Madame Mantis so they tried to trick it out of Batman back at Madame Mantis’.
Bane and Deathstroke now use the Psych Stone to try to get the Forbidden Move out of Batman. It turns out the move doesn’t kill but splits the victim’s body up in to pieces without killing the victim. That’s messed up, which is why it is forbidden. However, Batman’s will is too strong to reveal how it is accomplished. The tortured Batman is brought to the cell to join Nightwing, Batgirl and Madame Mantis. Matnis is attended by the cowardly deposed leader of the Trogowogs Prince Grungle. Batman uses a hidden LEGO brick remover to escape.
Back in Gotham, Commissioner Gordon uses the Bat-signal to summon Batman but is surprised when Superman and Robin show up. Gordon tells them that Joker has escaped from Arkham, Superman goes looking for him but not before getting Robin home early as it is a school night. Superman finds Joker who insists on a display of his superpowers. Superman shoots lasers out of his eyes. Joker uses Spoonie, his pet spoon, to redirect the beams and blow a hole in the side of Arkham allowing Penguin, Ivy, Scarecrow and Harley to escape.
Superman calls Cyborg and Wonder Woman for help to round up the escaped super criminals. Poison Ivy uses her control of pheromones to disable the trio. They are brought to the Joker’s lair called the Funhouse. Scarecrow’s fear toxin disables the three with terror. Cyborg, Superman and Wonder Woman are trapped in a kryptonite bath with Ivy’s calming pheromones keeping them at bay. Robin, who saw their plight via the Batcave’s video screen arrives at Joker’s Funhouse and frees our heroes who regroup on a nearby rooftop.
Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Prince Grungle and Madame Mantis are found escaping and make a run for it. Grungle runs off in fear and is captured by Deathstroke. Batman realizes that the only way to free Grungle is to give Bane the Forbidden Move. They surrender and Bane puts Batman back under the beam of the Psych Stone. Batman’s memory shows the way to perform the Forbidden Move, by focusing Chi into a ball and throwing the ChiBall at the victim.
Deathstroke brings Batman back to the tied up heroes. Deathstroke and Batman fight and Deathstroke attempts to use the Forbidden Move to defeat Batman. Deathstroke decides it is immoral to use the Forbidden Move and lets Batman live. Madame Mantis declares that Deathstroke has passed the test of honor by not using the move. Deathstroke joins Batman and the gang to defeat Bane.
Back in Gotham, the Justice League takes the villains back into custody one by one and sends them all back to Arkham.
Bane gathers his Trogowog army to march on the surface world. Batman tries to interfere but the army uses the Forbidden Move. Batman calls out “Bat-tusi” three times which causes the army to break out into a dance.
Bane fights and traps Batgirl and Nightwing. Prince Grungle summons up his courage to fight Bane. Madame Mantis frees Batgirl and Nightwing and they use the Psych Stone to transmit the fight between Band and the Trogowog Prince. Seeing their leader resist Bane inspires the army to do the same. The Prince breaks Bane’s chemical enhancements to make him a normal size and is easily defeated by the army. The good guys use the Psych Stone to remove the knowledge of the Forbidden Move from the army’s memory.
Batman, Nightwing and Batgirl return to the Hall of Justice to find all of the villains safely back in Arkham. Superman tells Batman of the trouble in his absence. Batman and Nightwing congratulate the Justice League on a job well done.
If you like your daily dose of Batman lighthearted and family oriented, you can’t go wrong with this movie. It is completely family friendly but also has lots of smart humor to keep the adults happy. This reminds me very much of the ’66 Batman TV show with an extended Bat Family, Rogues Gallery, and Justice League. If you want to introduce your kids to the main DC Hero team as well as the characters of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Beast Boy, Starfire and Cyborg this is a good place to start.
The humor mostly comes from the various characterizations of the heroes, particularly Batman. His stern demeanor is played for laughs in contrast to the other more relaxed characters. But it is clear that he is the center of the group and highly respected by all. Also, there are several jokes about the LEGO motif that permeates the whole affair.
I personally found this movie to be a satisfying romp that I thoroughly enjoyed. There isn’t too much real drama or learning here which keeps the score from being even higher. But if this installment is any guide, the LEGO DC series is a wonderful way to share your love of all things Bats with your family.
For a limited time, you can also get a Nightwing in his classic blue costume LEGO minifig as part of the release as shown in the image above. The film released today so go snag your copy of the film by heading over to Amazon now.