Review: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017)

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The LEGO Movie a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble - LEGO Batman stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham City, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. [Warner Bros.]


Back in 2014, Warner Bros. released The LEGO Movie, which was a huge success, both critically and commercially. Thus, the studio began to develop several spin-offs and a sequel to expand this franchise. The first spin-off is the most obvious choice: The LEGO Batman Movie, starring Will Arnett's show-stealing Caped Crusader. So, how does Batman's latest big screen outing fare?

The LEGO Batman Movie is a satirical, action-packed, heartwarming parody of the Batman franchise. Its fourth-wall breaking was just hilarious. I honestly lost count of how many times the film referenced past Batman movies, ranging from the 1966 series to last year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And that's just the movies: The film also features countless characters from Batman's 78-year-old lore, going all the way to obscure villains like Crazy Quilt and Condiment King. 

To say that The LEGO Batman Movie is fun would be an understatement. The movie is jam packed with colorful action sequences, laugh-out-loud humor, and lovable characters. However, the film also boasts plenty of heart. Batman's arc - learning to work with others and accept a family - is an emotional one, and it gives the character some substance beyond "DARKNESS, NO PARENTS!!!!" It serves as strong character development for Batman.

The animation is another highlight. While it's not quite as groundbreaking as The LEGO Movie, LEGO Batman is still fantastic in this category. It's especially impressive for a film that only has an $80 million budget. I also loved Lorne Balfe's score.


As for the voice cast, The LEGO Batman Movie works wonderfully. Will Arnett's Dark Knight is still perfection, pulling off a gruff yet hilarious voice. Michael Cera is terrific as Robin, while Rosario Dawson is great as Batgirl. Ralph Fiennes' Alfred is, as you might expect, flawless. As for the villains, Zach Galifianakis nails it as Joker, while Jenny Slate's Harley Quinn was on point. And it was so cool to see Billy Dee Williams finally get to play Two-Face. I just wish he had more screentime. But really, all of the actors were great here.

As for flaws....honestly, it's difficult to point out specific flaws. The LEGO Batman Movie excels in pretty much every category. There's something for anybody to enjoy. (Unless you just hate fun movies...) The film has a compelling, heart-filled story for audiences of all ages. The animation and characters are great. The voice cast is perfect. And it wonderfully pays homage to the Batman series.

In summary, The LEGO Batman Movie is another winner for the LEGO franchise. While not the ground-breaker that the original was, this is a more than worthy spin-off. Simply put, it serves as the ultimate love letter to Batman's history, both on the big screen and in the comics, with the signature LEGO twist. Fans of the character should definitely love it. I know I do. Please, more movies like this.


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