Directed by: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill
As someone with a life long love of Batman, I’m probably not the person to give an unbiased review of The Lego Batman Movie. I’m sure I’d be expected to either love it unreservedly or despise it for making fun of the greatest superhero of all time and not being grim or gritty or dark.
Well, it’s the first one. I absolutely LOVED it. From the opening voice over, to well, the concluding voice-over, The Lego Batman Movie is a winner.
Will Arnett’s return as Batman is better than his appearance in The Lego Movie and he really gets to shine here. Michael Cera’s Robin is pure joy, the perfect foil to our über Dark Knight. Their makeshift family is forced together by Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, playing a more traditional version of everybody’s favourite butler.
The whole cast, in fact, is really good and well suited. Zach Galifianakis as the Joker works well, not as maniacal as Mark Hamill but not as terrible as Jared Leto. Sorry, too soon? Jenny Slate is good as Harley, but doesn’t get enough to do. I think almost every Batman villain gets a scene or two, sadly leaving us wanting more from some characters, especially Billy Dee Williams, who finally gets to play Two-Face after being short changed by Tim Burton. I also loved the return of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as the bickering Green Lantern and Superman from The Lego Movie.
The story is kind of heavy for a kid’s film. Batman, rejecting the Joker’s assertion of them being each other’s greatest enemy, spends the movie soul searching and learning to have friends as well as accidentally adopting an orphan called Dick Grayson. Of course, the movie is not drab or gritty as this makes it seem, no matter what Lego Batman himself may claim.
What I liked most about TLBM is the sheer attention to the character’s history. Every Batman film gets mentioned, some obscure comic characters show up ( Hello Condiment King) and some seriously well thought out easter eggs. The actual “You Complete Me” scene from Jerry Maguire, famously copied by Heath Ledger’s Joker, is shown, followed by Batman laughing hysterically at it. Pure gold. I didn’t expect to see Tom Cruise in a Lego film. Plus, Batman’s new song, the follow up to “Darkness, No Parents” is one of the catchiest things I’ve heard in ages.
Family friendly, yet stocked with enough grown up jokes to make the parents laugh, TLBM is first and foremost a comedy Making fun of the source material, yet totally showing love for every iteration of Batman, especially the 1966 Series, Lego Batman walks the line for its entire running time, in fact I can’t decide whether it’s a genius Batman spoof or the most true to the character Batman film ever made. Possibly both at the same time.
For Fans Of :
The Lego Movie
The Dark Knight
21 Jump Street