I have always felt that 2014’s The Lego Movie was a bit revolutionary. It combined several different franchises that Warner Bros owns in LEGO form while having an endlessly clever and endlessly funny story. It was one of the first films that took what was certain to be nothing but a big commercial for LEGO and make it charming and refreshing. I was flabbergasted at how good it was.
Now WB is attempting to cash in and potentially replicate the success of its brick-based behemoth (it grossed almost $500 million on a $60 million budget) with spinning off its most recognizable character: Lego Batman. When I heard they were making The Lego Batman Movie, I was less than thrilled, especially since the directors were only slated return to produce it rather than write or direct it. I thought it was just an attempt to make a quick buck off riding the coattails of its predecessor like so many spin-offs are. The trailers were clever, but still couldn’t shake my fears. Well, after having seen it, I can tell you I was dead wrong: The Lego Batman Movie is amazing.
Will Arnett returns to voice Batman and he is just as good as he was in the first film. He and Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are the only returning characters and it all takes place entirely in their world. And they really don’t miss ANYONE, it seems; they pulled out all the stops and put almost every villain that Batman has ever faced in any media into this hour and forty five minute film. And of course they all do an impeccable job. Lots of recognizable voices doing top notch work.
Where the movie really shines is in its references to EVERY SINGLE BATMAN MOVIE EVER. They even throw in other movie and TV references that I won’t spoil, however I will say that they are brilliant. I’m almost certain that there were references made that I didn’t get, and I consider myself to be pop culture and comic book connoisseur (if I do say so myself).
The script is so funny and clever, just like its ‘parent’ film. Although, I don’t think it’s quite AS clever as The Lego Movie, I did like Batman more. From the very first frame my jaw was on the floor and my belly laughing from how funny and creative it was. I kind of want to call it “Deadpool for kids” because of how it seemed to subvert so many conventions.
Even the music was great! It uses several old Batman themes (and even a few Superman themes!) as well as some new stuff. The songs are really fun and used well throughout.
To top all of this off, it even has a really touching through-line. Having been exposed to the tragedy that is Bruce Wayne for many years and in many mediums, I found myself surprisingly moved several times throughout the duration of the movie.
There are a few scenes where there is so much going on that I think it loses the audience a little. I think they did pack in just a LITTLE too much into the film.
The Lego Batman Movie is endlessly creative and perpetually funny and even surprisingly moving. It is a worthy sequel/spin-off to the masterpiece that is The Lego Movie, and I even liked it more than that first movie. It is worth the price of admission for the whole family.