On paper, The LEGO Movie looked to be just another run-of-the-mill animated flick. However, audiences every where were pleasantly surprised when the movie turned out to not only be very entertaining, but easily one of the best animated films of recent memories. Its massive success with critics and audiences alike has spawned the development of other LEGO based movies.
The LEGO Batman Movie brings everyone’s favorite caped-crusader to life in brick form. After his appearance in The Lego Movie, Batman is back protecting Gotham city, but this time he is not fighting alone. He must deal with fighting his archival the Joker while raising his newly-adopted son.
Batman has a storied history on the big-screen, spanning fifty years at this point. The LEGO Batman Movie may be one of the best to feature the dark knight, with its bevy of smart gags and surprisingly warm heart making for another winning LEGO effort.
Even though its only been three years since the last entry, the animation for this film is vastly improved. Director Chris McKay (known for his work on Robot Chicken) along with his wonderful team of animators craft a beautiful looking world, bringing Gotham to life in a unique way. All of the action here is also gorgeous, moving swiftly and packing all the excitement one would expect.
An aspect of this film that stand above its animated peers is the voice cast. Will Arnett continues to shine as Batman, exploring the character in a way that is clever and hilarious. His deadpan voice often makes a lot of this film’s gags even funnier. Michael Cera has a lot of fun here as Robin, delivering a lot of energy and fun throughout. Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes, and a bevy of other talented acts do solid work as well.
The LEGO Batman Movie is flat-out hilarious, somehow bringing even more laughs than the previous film. The script was written by five writers, which usually has disastrous results. Thankfully, these writers are clearly experts on Batman as a character, poking fun at the good and bad moments the character has had on the big-screen. The amount of offbeat references this film pulls out of its hat is astonishing, leaving many great gags for comic fans to enjoy. The film explores the Batman Universe in a loving way, being a celebration of the character’s lengthy journey on the big screen.
Like The LEGO Movie, this film also has a warm heart at its core. Unlike a lot of Batman films that keep the character at an emotionally-distant place, much of this film’s running time deals with his longing to be a part of a family but fears losing his loved ones again. It’s all handled in a smart and heartfelt way, with the emotional core making these characters all the more likable.
There are only a few aspects about the movie that hold it back from being a classic. Sometimes the movie panders a bit too much to its target younger demographic, with some silly gags being groaners to watch. Also, the film loses some of its fast and furious pace in the second act, but thankfully picks back up before its finale.
The LEGO Batman Movie is a sincere and hilarious take on the Batman Universe, bringing the character to life in a unique and entertaining way. It truly is the first great film of 2017.