It’s a great Batman Movie! It has been 8 long years since I’ve been able to say that sentence. In that time we’ve had two less than mediocre live action releases and a slew of direct-to-Blu-Ray DC animated films that have steadily slid down in quality. But have no fear! Batman is back once more!
The last time we saw the Lego version of the Dark Knight was as a supporting character in 2014’s The Lego Movie. Will Arnett’s show stopping performance was highly praised and made way for the Bat’s own spinoff in this year’s The Lego Batman Movie. The directors of the previous film, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, sat in the producer’s chair as Chris McKay (Robot Chicken) helmed Seth Grahame-Smith’s (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Dark Shadows) script.
Over the past 15 years, Warner Bros. has mostly shied away from humor in the DC films (I guess it’s hard to get the image of Bat-Nipples out of everyone’s mind). But this movie brings the action, comedy, and heart that no DC movie has ever had.
First off, the action is spot on! No jump-cutting that feels like a Bourne film, no overly dramatic explanations, no “Martha.” For the first time on the big screen, it feels like Batman. He’s flipping, punching, throwing bat-a-rangs, and kicking butt! Using the environment as a weapon is a staple in the Batman lore, but when that environment is made of Lego, anything is possible. The animators did an amazing job at capturing that spirit and translating it in a fun and inventive way.
Lego Batman: Fun for kids of all ages
As far as humor goes, I’m not sure the last time I laughed this hard at a “kid’s movie.” I’m sure I got a lot more of the “in jokes,” being a huge Bat-Fan, but I heard kids and parents laughing along with every line. The jokes land! The film is about a comic book character with a 78 year history, set in a world made of a building toy, and targeted for children, so it could’ve gone either way. The writing is smart and treats its audience as such. They’re making great jokes at each and every turn that use the rich history of Batman from every incarnation and era. It’s hard to believe that a kid’s film has better seamless references than a certain Fox TV show set in the Batman universe…
At the root of it all, Bruce Wayne is a troubled soul. If you haven’t heard, his parents were murdered when he was young which drives him to become Batman. Every movie has that piece, but the other side is that he pushes everyone else away because he doesn’t want to put anyone else in harms way. He doesn’t want to lose another family. That’s where every other Batman film misses the mark. The film has a heart and it shows Bruce’s pain through conversations and actions, not with another scene of Lego pearls falling in an alley. It presents this really strong, powerful theme in a very simple way as Batman learns that he can’t do everything alone and he has people he can count on, but he has to trust them.
All-star voice cast
Anyway, enough with the sappy stuff. The voice cast is amazing: Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, Michael Cera as Robin, and Zach Galifianakis as The Joker, just to name a few. The movie has almost every single villain from Batman’s Rogues Gallery including the obscure like Kite-Man and Condiment King (yes, he’s real). There are a few fun surprises along the way, so I won’t ruin them for you.
It’s movie for anyone of any age, but you’ll definitely get more out of it if you have knowledge of the Batman franchise or have seen The Lego Movie.
The Lego Batman Movie is a fun ride with an amazing cast, hilarious jokes, fun action, and a lot of heart. Nothing at all bad with this movie, in fact… Everything is awesome!!!
The Lego Batman Movie is absolutely a 10 out of 10 stars.
Kyle Dodson is a writer, comedian, Rock Solid Podcast producer, Batman aficionado, facial hair connoisseur, and oxford comma supporter.