The LEGO Batman Movie is a spinoff story based off the Batman character last seen in the hit 2014 film, The LEGO Movie. Without spoiling anything; it’s about the world’s favorite dark knight fighting to saving Gotham from his greatest enemy, the Joker. The LEGO Batman Movie is directed by first-time feature film director, Chris McKay, and stars the voice talents of Will Arnett as Batman, Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth.
Is this movie one of the best DC movies released since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2008 as some outlets are saying? I’m going to have to say no. Does it feature one of the best Jokers that we have seen put on the screen? To that, I will say yes. In no particular order, I would say this Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, falls in the top 3 Joker spots next to Heath Ledger’s Joker as well as Mark Hamill’s Joker from the Batman Animated Series.
And this goes to a bigger point; every character in this movie was done very well. Arnett nails Batman again, just like in The LEGO Movie. The Joker, Batgirl, Alfred, and even Robin were great. Liking Robin was something I was not expecting. From the trailers that were released I was thought he would come across as annoying and too over-the-top, but I actually found him very endearing. All of this really goes to show the passion that the filmmakers, as well as the voice actors, have for the Batman mythos. I do not believe each character would have been pulled off so well, and with such understanding, if the filmmakers were not complete fans of the source material.
The Batman references and jokes are everywhere. The LEGO Batman is one of the best Batman spoofs I’ve ever seen. There were plenty of times that I found myself laughing at some obscure reference, then missing the follow up joke due to still laughing from the first one. Every batman movie ever created is featured in this film at some point. And as a Batman, fan I loved it.
Also, the visuals were amazing. The beautiful mixture of stop-motion animation with LEGO bricks next to CGI animation was flawless. The character designs were awesome. And the action was spectacular. Watching these iconic comic book characters throw down in LEGO form is a beautiful buffet of awesomeness.
There was much to enjoy in this movie, however, I do have some issues that need addressed.
First off, the beginning is messy. The animation, dialogue, and structure within the first five to ten minutes were not as smooth as the rest of the movie. After those first ten minutes, it gets a lot better. But I honestly started off worried about the film due to the madness going on screen as we are franticly introduced to the LEGO batman world.
Also, there are some pacing issues. In the middle of the movie I found myself looking and my watch wondering what time it was because of how badly things had slowed down. In caparison, The LEGO Movie feels like it was constantly moving, never stopping to slow down. I wish they had been able to do the same here.
And speaking of keeping things the same as before, this movie is just a little too kidish. The Lego Movie was capable of throwing in jokes for the kids, as well as for the adults. However, that is not done as well here. Yes, there are some references to gadgets that only people of a certain age would get, however just relying on that trope is not enough. I know that giving fault for too many kid jokes in a kid’s movie seems overly petty. Normally I would not fault a kid’s movie for being too full of kid jokes, but when I’ve seen it done 5 times better as recently as 2014 by the same company then I do have a certain standard to expect. And those expectations were not met.
I know it seems like I was bashing the movie there, but I did enjoy it overall. If you have little ones then defiantly take them to go see it, they will enjoy it. Also, there are things in the movie for people of all ages to enjoy between Batman spoofs, movie references, and cameos aplenty. The LEGO Batman Movie has something for all ages in it. I enjoyed it very much, and for that I will give it a score of 3.5/5.