After a few years of waiting, the Batman-centric Lego Movie spin-off is finally here. Sort of. It's actually out for real on Friday 10th, but people have been able to go and see it this weekend. The film is good, and we'll have a review up on site fairly soon. It is also, as promised, filled with easter eggs and callbacks to the Batmen of old, and given the 75+ year history of the character there are plenty of them to enjoy. Here's everything we spotted:
Warning, there are big fat spoilers in here
The Rogues Gallery
Batman has one of the largest and most recognisable rogues galleries in comics, only really rivalled by Spider-Man. Some of them are well known and integral to the character (like the Joker and Catwoman) while others are downright silly and are more suited to the realm of parody. An awful lot of those characters appear in the film, too many to count, but here's everyone we managed to spot in no particular order:
The Joker, The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Bane, Clock King, Kite Man, Orca, Cat Man, Polka Dot, Hugo Strange, Calendar Man, Condiment King, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Mimic, Red Hood (classic), Zodiac, Clayface, Mr Freeze, The Penguin, Man Bat, The Calculator, March Harriet, Eraser, Blight, Two Face, Zebra Man, Magpie, Tarantula, The Kabuki Twins, The Dark Knight Returns' mutant leader, Captain Boomerang, and more blink-and-you-miss-it cameos that we missed.
Bane looks a lot like his comic counterpart, but sounds rather like Tom Hardy from 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. Two Face is also played by Billy Dee Williams, who played Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's Batman.
The Uber Villains
Trapped in the Phantom Zone and then released by the Joker, a number of non-DC 'uber' villains appear towards the end of the film. They include: King Kong, Clash of the Titans' Kraken, the creature from the black lagoon, Voldemort, Daleks (or British robots as they're called), The Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys, the Eye of Sauron, the T-Rex and velociraptor from Jurassic Park, Jaws aka Bruce the Shark, Dracula, the Gremlins, Medusa, and the Agents from The Matrix. Zod was also trapped there by Superman early on in the film, appearing in his classic Superman II look.
Fun fact: Voldemort was played by Ralph Fiennes in the Harry Potter films. Eddie Izzard takes on the reigns here, but Fiennes does get to play Alfred.
The Batmen of the Past
At two points we're shown Legoified versions of Batman from the past. The first goes through all the different Bat-movies up to 'that weird one in 1966', and takes place after Alfred lectures Bruce on his vigilanté activities (no that's not a typo).
The second takes place a little bit later on, and goes way back through Batman's history, including the films we all know and love, the '90s animated series, the '40s serials, and various famous comic covers.
Despite, rather annoyingly, not having the easily-recognisable tones of Adam West pop up, The Lego Batman Movie still has a number of throwbacks to the '60s show. The most obvious are renditions of the show's theme song, which Batman sings various renditions of throughout the film. It's also the sound the Batmobile's horn makes.
We also get to seen a Lego version of the scene transition, and during the film's final battle Batman comments how he and Robin are going to hit enemies so hard that sound effects appear in thin air. Cue variations of Bap, Bam, Kapow, and Biff appearing on-screen.
Alfred also dresses up in the classic TV costume, declaring that he misses the '60s. Dick Grayson also declares 'holy family photo, Batman' at the end of the film, an obvious reference to Burt Ward's famous catchphrase.
The Utility Belt's Ridiculous Capacity
Over the years Batman has been the subject of ridicule because of how much he manages to fit inside his piddly little utility belt. This is lampooned as he's trying to get through Arkham Asylum's security, filling up the security buckets with a ridiculous number of silly gadgets and weapons.
The Dark Knight
During the opening scenes, the pilot declares that Batman will stop the Joker, because he always does. Even that time 'with the two boats', which is a clear reference to the climax of 2008's The Dark Knight.
Batman also starts doing press ups while Alfred lectures him about his nightly habits, which also took place in Batman Begins.
Bat Shark Repellent
While Dick Grayson is marvelling at the Batcave, Batman tells him not to touch anything except the Bat Shark Repellent "because it's completely useless". The repellent first appeared in the '60s Batman movie featuring Adam West, and has been mocked and satirised in the years since. The repellent does end up being useful in the end, because it saves Batman from Jaws/Bruce the Shark during the final battle.
The Infinite Abyss of Nothingness
The Joker's plot threatens to send Gotham City into 'The Infinite Abyss of Nothingness', which featured in The Lego Movie. It was revealed there that it isn't actually an abyss, just the edge of the table that the Lego world was built on.
Gremlins on the Plane
Way back when, Gremlins weren't the green lizard creatures we see in the films. They were mythical creatures RAF pilots used to blame random equipment malfunctions on, and were popularised in a book by Roald Dahl. Towards the end of the film, the Gremlins are sent to attack the Bat Wing, and proceed to tear up the engine. This is an obvious throwback to the creatures' origins, as well as the famous The Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 feet.
There are two references to Marvel's universe, the most obvious of which is the Batcave password "Iron Man sucks". Alfred also shouts "you just got Union Jacked!" during the Gremlins-on-a-plane sequence, which could be a reference to British Marvel hero Union Jack.
The Batcave is filled with easter eggs. So many that nobody is going to be able to see them all without watching each individual frame. The main ones to mention include all the increasingly ridiculous Bat-vehicles (includes the Bat Space Shuttle and the Bat Kayak), the ridiculous number of costumes (calling back to the days when Batman would have a number of ridiculous costumes to choose from), and the Trophy Room.
Costumes to note include the classic grey suit and blue trunks Batsuit, as well as the red and black suit from Batman Beyond.
Towards the climax of the film, Robin raids Batman's costume collection for a second time and ends up wearing one that has been dubbed 'Nightwing'. A natural reference to the mantle Dick Grayson takes up when he gets fed up with Batman, and goes into the vigilante business for himself.
One surprising twist is that Batman loves watching romantic comedies, though he seems to find the romantic parts extra hilarious. We see him actually watching Jerry Maguire, while Must Love Dogs and Serendipity get special mentions. It's extra fitting, since this film is basically an anti-rom-com involving Batman and The Joker
The Barbara Gordon Shipping
Over the years some people, particularly Batman: The Animated Series creator Bruce Timm, have tried to push Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon together as a couple. Which is weird, really weird. This film does it in a similar way, but instead of taking things seriously it shows Bruce having a very childish crush on the new Police Commissioner. She's also not a teenager when they meet, which makes it a lot less creepy.
When Barbara Gordon is introduced, it's revealed that she managed to clean up all the crime in Bludhaven (using statistics). Bludhaven is a staple in DC comics, shown to be more corrupt and crime-ridden than Gotham. Given how Barbara managed to clean all that up by herself is incredibly impressive, since not even Nightwing could manage that.
Part of how Barbara plans to clean up Gotham involves teaming up with Batman rather than letting him run around by himself. As she puts it, he's an unsupervised man running around in a Halloween costume karate chopping poor people. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty accurate description of Batman's nightly activities, and is one of the criticisms of his actions. Thanks a lot Batman, you dick.
The Fortress of Solitude
Superman's Arctic home appears in the film, complete with the giant key hole that opens up the door. It's where Superman was stashing the Phantom Zone Generator, and where the Justice League members were having a Bat-free party. The doorbell chime also happens to be a rendition of the classic theme song from the Christopher Reeve Superman film series.
As Batman is trying to disable the Fortress's defences, he accidentally activates the hologram of Superman's biological father Jor-El. Jor-El appears much as he did in the Superman movies, where he was played by Marlon Brando. He doesn't sound much like him, though.
The Justice League
Batman feels a little bit hurt that the Justice League were having a party without him, and a lot of recognisable faces were there including: Superman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, the Wonder Twins, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Black Lightning, Krypto, Martian Manhunter, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Apache Chief, and Samurai.
Before heading off to the Fortress of Solitude, the camera lingers on an advert for Ferris Air. That company is owned by Carol Ferris, a former love interest of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern and the supervillain Star Sapphire.
The End Credits
The film doesn't have a post-credits scene, but like The Lego Movie it does have a music video during the end-credits. It's an original song, 'written' by Robin, but it's certainly no 'Everything is Awesome'.