One of the only flaws of The LEGO Movie was it was such a profound example of the possibilities LEGOs have when committed to film that it, with its humor and energetic premise, set such a high bar for sequels and spinoffs that would inevitably follow. The Lego Batman Movie comes a surprisingly restrained three years to the weekend The LEGO Movie was released into American theaters, showing how serious the filmmakers were about creating something memorable rather than something that was a blatant cash-in.
Last week, I gave A Dog’s Purpose a fairly poor review, and just yesterday, I blasted The Space Between Us for squandering a terrific premise into a saccharine, bargain-bin romance novel of a film. Today, however, I give The Comedian a very positive review, for it almost acts as the antithesis of both of those films and their superficial, calculated formulas to give the audience the pathos they should feel without the need of blatant signalling.
Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) was born on Mars to Sarah (Janet Montgomery), a committed astronaut, who died during childbirth alongside her fellow astronauts who embarked on such a brave exploration. Back on Earth, however, a devastated Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman), the head of the space mission, is trying to prevent a PR nightmare in how to handle both Sarah’s death and the fact that there is now an infant child living on Mars. The ultimate decision is to say that Sarah died due to a suit-malfunction and leave Gardner’s existence entirely unmentioned so he can grow up amongst astronauts in the vast emptiness of Mars. Most illogical.