Warning: This review may contain some mild spoilers.
When he isn’t fighting crime as masked vigilante Batman, Bruce Wayne (Will Arnett) lives in recluse in his mansion with his butler, Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). His arch nemesis, the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), rallies together an endless group of villains to attempt to rid Gotham City of the Batman, all while new Police Chief Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) proposes that Batman abandon his solo nature and work alongside the law enforcement. After a misunderstanding, Wayne also accidentally adopts local orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), who he reluctantly takes on as a protégé. Eventually, it is down to Batman, Grayson, Gordon, and Alfred to battle the Joker and save Gotham City.
Here we have a film that is not only zany and energetic, but also consistently funny, mindbogglingly inventive, nimbly structured, and genuinely touching. While it loses the surprise effect that made The LEGO Movie such a treat and its conclusion doesn’t rival the sudden foray into live action that made its parent film so poignant, LEGO Batman remains a highly enjoyable film that puts a smile on your face from beginning to end.
The jokes come thick and fast, a large percentage of the film is more than prepared to drop at least three jokes per minute and they all land. There are digs at other recent Batman stories—most notably Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman, obviously—and multiple other references to other films, but LEGO Batman even finds room for more adult humor and countless sight gags. The faux stop motion animation style carves the way for some brilliant little visual flourishes that add depth to the film’s comedy—it isn’t just content to run one joke into the ground, rather it consistently finds new comedic territory and makes every joke its own.
The way LEGO Batman even lands on something genuinely moving in its finale is even more impressive. You could make a case for the film’s central theme being a bit obvious when it comes to Batman—the whole film is pegged around isolation and loneliness and how you combat that to form a human relationship of any kind—but it handles it excellently. It’s written smartly enough to simultaneously act as a life lesson for small kids as well as a powerful sentiment to older viewers. The fact that it has a better grasp of Batman as a character than Batman v Superman did isn’t exactly surprising, but what is surprising is just how committed to this theme the film really is. It’s clever, interesting, and is looked back upon to help Batman develop as a character. The movie particularly looks into his character and emotions that also help set him up for development as a character.
The film doesn’t just form around Batman. Young Dick Grayson feels the same emotional distance, Barbara Gordon only wants to do well in her first challenge as the new Police Chief, Alfred wants to help his adoptive son refocus his life, and even the Joker just wants to comfortably know that he really is Batman’s arch nemesis. It all sounds silly, and of course it is, but LEGO Batman excels whenever it combines the silly and the thoughtful. Thankfully, that’s most of its run time. The voice acting is faultless all around, too. Arnett remains the obvious highlight for too many reasons than can be explained, but Michael Cera, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Jenny Slate, and Channing Tatum are all delightful as well.
This is the best theatrical film based on DC property that WB has put out in years. The LEGO Batman Movie surprises us yet again with a fun piece of imaginative work. It has the humor, the action, the animation, and, surprisingly again, the heart. This movie encompasses everything you know about Batman, and I mean everything. The script is a hilarious tribute to arguably one of the greatest superheroes of all time, and, surprisingly, the most emotional. The focus of the film actually deals with a critical factor of Batman on his isolation and loneliness, his fear of becoming part of a family again, and the special relationship Batman has with the Joker. It hits all the emotional beats just right with all of its themes. It utilizes its imagination of Legos to its potential. And it produces a fantastic message for kids, as well as a touching tribute to fans of Batman. Seriously, this movie had a smile on my face except for the parts when it really hit home for me.
The film is dazzlingly inventive and unrelentingly funny. The LEGO Batman Movie adds another enjoyable and surprisingly moving entry to the ever-impressive LEGO Movie franchise. The LEGO Batman Movie was filled with Batman singing his made up songs. It is a movie that made me finally feel like a kid again, awesome from start to finish! Batman was very innovative, had a gripping story with a heartwarming message, and clever jokes.
If you loved The LEGO Movie or anything with Batman, you will absolutely love The LEGO Batman Movie.