Title: The LEGO Batman Movie
MPAA: Rated PG for rude humor and some action
Director: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis
Synopsis: The Batman must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
The LEGO Batman Movie is the latest LEGO related animated feature from Warner Brothers (get used to them), and this time focuses entirely on the character of Batman, voiced once again by Will Arnett. Let me just go right out and say it, Will Arnett is comedy gold as this character. He was a scene stealer in The Lego Movie, and he once again proves why he was born to voice this character. He is hilarious in a cocky, self-centered kind of way, but in this movie he is also a flawed character. The writers of this film do a great job of incorporating what was so great about this character in the previous LEGO film, but also what is great about the character of Batman. As everyone probably knows, Batman is a superhero with a dark past, and is certainly a flawed character. He prefers to be alone, and is afraid to have a new family, because of what happened to his parents. The writers for this film understand this, and brilliantly use it as an emotional core for the character, and ultimately this movie.
This movie is not only hilarious, but also has heart. There are quite a few scenes that are emotional, without being too sentimental. The relationships between Batman and Robin, and even Batman and The Joker are not only great on a comedic basis, but also surprisingly great on the sweet side as well. This movie does a great job of pointing out the irony in this serious, and even the previous blunders from the previous Batman movies and even current DC films. There is even a line that totally disses Suicide Squad which was not only hilarious, but really surprising that Warner Bros. would be ok with making fun of one of their more recent films. I thought it was great, and there are plenty other great lines involving the Batman franchise that fans of the character are gonna love. Let me next talk about the voiceover performances.
As I mentioned before, Will Arnett once again gives a strong performance as the lead character, but there are also some other big names involved in this project as well. Ralph Fiennes voices Alfred, Rosario Dawson voices Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, Michael Cera is the Robin, and Zach Galifianakis is The Joker. I thought all of them were perfectly cast and they certainly did not disappoint. I would say out of all of them, Michael Cera was probably the standout as Robin. He was so funny, but also had a great relationship with Batman, that really was the what drove the entire film. I also loved Bane in this movie. He had some great one-liners, and had the look of the 90s Bane, but the voice of the Tom Hardy version. With all of that being said, there were definitely some flaws. Let me start with the other characters.
This movie not only features a lot of other classic Batman characters, and even some more obscure ones (The Condiment King!!) that make for some great humor, but also other Warner Bros. related characters from other big franchises like Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. I definitely didn’t think it was necessary for them to have these other big names, because this is a Lego Batman movie after all, and they really weren’t needed and didn’t really service anything for the story besides just being there to disrupt Batman. I think the movie would have been better off if they just focused on the Batman, and maybe gave bigger roles for other villains besides just the Joker. They had people like Conan O’Brien voice The Riddler, who did not have a big role at all, so why not use the big talent they had in their disposal. My last flaw would be pretty much all of the other characters besides Batman were pretty much just one-dimensional, and were really in the movie to utilize Batman’s character more. His character is multidimensional and grows throughout this movie. I can’t really say the same about any of the other characters. Besides other little nit-picks like the movie maybe being a little too long and the story being kind of predictable, I have nothing but great things to say about this movie and believe it was another success in this new “LEGO universe.”
Overall, this movie really surprised me and was not only super funny, but had heart as well. The biggest strength of this movie is how right they got the character of Batman, and how much they understood what makes him such an interesting character, good and bad. The voiceover performances were perfect, and even though I think the previous LEGO movie was better written and more original, I would still say this is another solid animated film that kids will enjoy, and especially adults who are a fan of the Batman franchise. Just like the previous LEGO movie, this film is very cleverly written and makes fun of the clichés that you would see in a standard Batman/DC film. Bottom line, I think anyone who is a fan of the character of Batman, or Will Arnett’s version of the character will really enjoy this. If you aren’t, than I would have a hard time thinking you will enjoy this film. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect, but certainly did not disappoint. My grade for this film is: