The Lego Batman Movie Review
The Lego Batman Movie Review – Breaking Down Walls
Batman has been interpreted pretty seriously in recent times especially on the big screen with Christopher Nolan’s gritty and realistic take on the character in the Dark Knight trilogy and more recently Ben Affleck’s turn as a very morose and more violent Bruce Wayne. Given that this is a character that appeals to a broad age range and its roots were more light hearted its neat to see The Lego Batman Movie taking itself far less seriously and having some fun with the character, who is voiced by Will Arnett this time around.
The follow-up to the successful The Lego Movie, this spin-off also has a fantastic cast at director Chris McKay’s disposal. Zach Galifianakis plays the Joker who although still firmly planted in the realm of evil, desperately seeks Batman’s recognition as his greatest enemy. Michael Cera plays Dick Grayson/Robin and gives the most energetic performance as the wide-eyed boy wonder. Rosario Dawson plays Barbara Gordon who is taking over police commissioner duties from her father and wants to change Batman’s solo approach to fighting bad guys. Special mention should also go to Ralph Fiennes’ Alfred who is the heart of the movie and makes me want to see him take on the character in another format.
There are tons of other cameos and blink-and-you’ll miss it appearances from other famous actors but the main thing to note is that none of them feel out-of-place and do the characters justice. The standout performances come from Cera, who is unrelentingly upbeat about everything happening around him and Arnett, whose gruff performance plays well with the jokes and attitude of this more humorous Batman. Like The Lego Movie this film also features various characters from the DC universe and although I’d have liked to see more from the likes of the Justice League, Warner Bros. certainly went deep with some of the references – a rundown of Batman’s villains both well-known and lesser known towards the start of the film is a particular highlight.
Most Lego films are largely based on humour and one liners and The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t deter from that trend. There are lots of entertaining moments visually such as a lonely Batman floating in a pool in the Batcave or the fact that Bruce Wayne lives on a giant island off the coast of Gotham. The writers obviously had a good time poking fun at the character’s various features such as the excessive number of vehicles, gadgets and costumes and there are plenty of references to both the films and comics. I didn’t find the humour quite as funny as The Lego Movie which had to be much more original but the film is still good fun for kids and adults alike.
The movie has plenty of heart too and its nice to see an exploration of the character that isn’t overly gloomy. The plot moves around Bruce’s inability to be part of a family again after the death of his parents. This leads to some entertaining back and forth with other characters who want to do nothing but help as Batman pushes them away. It’s a surprisingly thoughtful take on the character that could have easily gone another way and remains positive affirmation for a younger audience.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with The Lego Batman Movie even if it didn’t land quite as elegantly as The Lego Movie did back in 2014. The film is funny and enjoyable for audiences young and old and for those with a deep knowledge of the caped crusader there’s enough nods to keep you satisfied. With a very strong cast and witty writing the film manages to pull off its light hearted tone and take on the character.
What did you think of The Lego Batman Movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
For more Lego-sized fun check out my review of The Lego Movie.