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The LEGO Batman Movie Review

"Always be yourself ... unless you can be Batman."

For those of you less-than-satisfied with Batman v. Superman, for those of you who thought Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was maybe a little too dark, for those of you who love the comics and want more than anything to see the Bat-family represented on screen … I know it sounds ridiculous, but The LEGO Batman Movie is absolutely the movie for you.

Will Arnett’s incredibly deep and gravelly voice brings Batman to life as the massive drama queen we all know he is. Better than Christian Bale or Ben Affleck ever could, this little lego figurine managed to convey the grief and loneliness integral to the character beneath the veneer of arrogance, abs, and beatboxing. That, if anything, is a perfect metaphor for the whole film – something that’s gut-bustlingly funny on the surface, but with real heart and a powerful message.

Whether you(r kids) are intimately familiar with every single Batman-adjacent character ever, or couldn’t pick the Joker out of a line-up, this film manages to have something for everyone. Nerdy references for young and old alike hit their marks perfectly, and of the plethora of bad guys, you’ll be sure to recognize at least one or two!

The tongue-in-cheek parodical nature of the film leaves it free to satirize the superhero genre, which is undoubtedly in dire need of some satirisation. All the ribbing is good-natured, though – it’s clear that writers Seth Grahame-Smith and Chris McKenna are huge Batman fans.

Zach Galifianakis delivers a Joker who’s a perfect foil to Batman – openly emotional where Batman is comically repressed, two sides of the same lonely coin. Honestly, it’s pretty refreshing to see an iteration of him blissfully free of the weirdness Jared Leto brought to the role.

Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) and Robin (Michael Cera) hilariously sandwich Batman into the role of both son and father in a surprisingly touching arc which teaches Batman to stop pushing people away. Cera’s Robin is graced with huge puppy eyes, a squeaky voice, and no pants, in true Robin style. After Arnett himself, Cera has to be the standout of the film.

Rosario Dawson, no stranger to superheroes after her key role in Marvel’s Defenders shows, finally brings Babs Gordon to the big screen! Taking over the Gotham police force after Commissioner Gordon’s retirement, Barbara is determined to actually do some police work, rather than relying on her father’s signature move of just hitting the Bat-signal. Needless to say, Batman’s not too happy about the prospect of teamwork.

There are some pretty impressive cameos from famous names in the host of villains the newly formed Bat-family have to defeat, and it all comes to a head with one of the funniest and LEGO-est solutions to a final battle I have ever seen.

On that note, the animation is phenomenal, as you’d expect after The LEGO Movie. The film manages to visually reference and/or make fun of every iteration of Batman there’s ever been, absolutely nailing the aesthetics of each era’s caped crusader. A truly impressive feat of LEGO mastery.

Amongst the killer rapping and kickass fight scenes, the incredible gadgets and hilarious dramatics, this film manages to deliver a story about family and friendship pulling a man through a dark period of his life. Also there are numerous butt jokes, so. It works for everyone.

Rating
8.4
Pros
  • Characterization Bob Kane and Bill Finger would be proud of
  • Babs Gordon
  • Butt jokes
Cons
  • If you're a Nolan or Snyder fan you might be offended ... but hey! Lighten up!

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Classics student, superhero fan, movie enthusiast.

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