The LEGO Batman Movie Movie Review
Everything isn’t awesome, but The LEGO Batman Movie is a fast-paced, funny whirlwind of a film that will delight children and please parents, even if all its pieces don’t entirely click into place.
Three years after The LEGO Movie blew audiences away (but failed to even get an Oscar nomination), one of the film’s most enjoyable supporting (and one of Warner Bros.’ most financially lucrative) characters--the self-centered, gravel-voiced douchebag Batman, voiced by Will Arnett--understandably gets center stage, surrounded by his LEGO-sized rogue gallery of villains.
The LEGO Batman Movie takes the kinetic, frenzied and colorful energy of its predecessor and applies it to a Batman story, albeit a comedic one in which Batman is a bit of an idiot who prides himself on being the most perfect person in the world, even though he has serious flaws. The movie is chock full of comic book in-jokes and it’s fun to try to identify all of the various DC comic characters that show up for cameos. And it offers several laugh-out-loud moments, largely due to Batman’s interactions with Robin (Michael Cera) and his “you don’t mean anything to me” relationship with the Joker (Zach Galifianakis).
Director Chris McKay throws a lot at the audience and more of it connects than not, though at times the movie sags under its own plastic weight. As funny as it is overall, there are stretches where the jokes don’t land, and the non-stop action, while varied enough, can be exhausting (I doubt your kids will agree). More than anything, a second trip into Legoland demonstrates that the novelty of it all has worn off--it’s not as much fun watching the dynamics of the world this time around. The filmmakers seem to acknowledge this by trying too hard.
Nonetheless, The LEGO Batman Movie has a lot going for it. Arnett is once again great as Batman. Galifianakis’ emotional Joker is a lot more entertaining than Jared Leto’s incarnation in Suicide Squad last year. And it’s hard to deny that this is the most entertaining and faithful DC Comics adaptation in years.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.