Review: The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Movie was a big surprise, something that on the face of it should have been dumb and silly, essentially a feature length toy commercial. While this was still true directors Lord and Miller took the same smart approach they did to 21 Jump Street, creating something that was both silly but also had the right mix of sly satire and heart that the best family films often have.
The challenge with The Lego Batman Movie is that it is a spinoff. Thankfully the creative team here still maintain that great mix of references, cameos and frantic pace while at the same time celebrating what makes Batman great.
The performances at the centre of this are great. Will Arnett is a great comedic talent and teaming him up with Michael Cera as Robin is inspired, while the idea that Zak Galifinakis’ Joker has a bizarre “hero/villain” relationship is fantastic.
Of course if it was purely jokes it would get wearing eventually. Like Deadpool before, Lego Batman is smart enough to recognise this with a slower second half that looks into the motivation behind Batman’s character and how he needs to come to terms with Rosario Dawson’s Barbara Gordon and how to work with her.
It is hard to fully discuss this as I feel the more surprises you get from this the better. If I was going to be really harsh I would say there are some characters that inevitably get sidelined who I would like to see more of (such as Billy Dee Williams’ Two Face, a lovely touch after he originally played Harvey Dent in the Burton films). Also the Lego format does mean there are times when there is the odd convenient get out (though to be fair pretty much anything can be countered with “it’s Lego!”)
In short I really enjoyed The Lego Batman Movie and so long as you recognise this for what it is you’ll love it. Kids will love the silliness and the slapstick while there are lots of references for fans and even a lot for people who aren’t!