STARRING: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes
Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
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.
To the surprise of, well, some of us, The LEGO Movie was a big success back in 2014 and one of the supporting characters, Batman, was one of the highlights from the film. Fast forward to now and the first spinoff from the LEGO movie puts Bruce Wayne at the forefront in The LEGO Batman Movie. The film focuses on Batman and Joker’s arch-rivalry which leads the Joker to up the ante as Batman hurts his feelings by denying him the title of being Batman’s greatest enemy. In the process, we get into Bruce Wayne’s psyche as Alfred encourages him to conquer his biggest fear….starting a family.
The LEGO Batman Movie wastes no time at all cutting right into the action as Batman takes on his rogues gallery led by Joker and bar the exception of Bruce Wayne taking a break to reheat some lobster, the films frantic and maniac pace doesn’t let up. What I enjoyed the most is how the film worked as a celebration of seventy-eight years of Batman, bringing in his most well-known enemies as well as his most obscure (They even manage a King Tut and Eraser appearances for god sake!), to even taking brief moments in having a rib at the previous Batman films with Alfred mentioning the ‘weird one’ aka the TV series in the 60’s. Hell I even enjoyed the Suicide Squad joke thrown in for good measure. The film even manages to create an arc for Batman that somehow feels fresh for the big screen after all these years as he’s loner behaviour and antics of having to reap the glory of Gotham has led to him isolating himself from letting others in, be it Alfred or Dick Grayson to even that of his villains which creates Joker’s outlandish plan of revenge in the first place and even the Justice League do their best to throw a party without inviting him around. The voice cast is solid, Will Arnett’s delivery is hilarious at times and Michael Cera is literally perfect for this version of Dick Grayson/Robin while Zach Galifianakis seems to be having a blast as the Joker. The animation once again is terrific and the direction from McKay with the action sequences is done very well.
While I enjoyed some of the jokes and trip down memory lane with some character appearances, the chaotic pace of the film actually brought down the viewing experience for me. While some jokes land, some are repeated over and over again that they lose their effect and then there’s some jokes that down land at all but then again, this is a kids film. While it was just as frantic at times, the film just doesn’t have a sense of control or that special quality that made me enjoy The LEGO Movie. Maybe it’s because I expected nothing going into that film and due to how much I enjoyed it, my expectations were raised going into The LEGO Batman Movie. The inclusion of adding villains to the fold outside of the Batman world are nice references to other films, it just didn’t work for me in the final act in how they were used compared to Batman’s rogue gallery in a previous sequence. Also the film felt far too long.
It’s a fun time for the kids and for those that grew up within the Batman films, tv series and comics, working as an hour and forty minutes celebration of Batman’s history. The animation is terrific and the performances from the voice cast is solid, the film falls in terms of plotting as the story feels stretched out with the frantic pace involved and just doesn’t have that quality for me that The LEGO Movie had. 6/10