Hey gang, Valkor here. And I’m back with another AniView treat; this round we dip into Lego territory with “The Lego Batman Movie". This isn't Lego Batman’s first appearance in a Lego film as he’s always shown up in the direct-to-video, Justice League outings. However, this is his first “solo” Lego outing. And while I wasn’t sure how such a film would work without the Justice League dynamic. As it turns out, it works out just fine!
In "The Lego Batman Movie", we discover that in this universe, Batman (voiced by Will Arnett – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) isn’t the self-loathing, brooding, always in the shadows type vigilante he’s known for in the comics. Rather, he’s more of an upbeat, attention grabber, self-absorbed, dick of a superhero. And yet, he’s still Gotham’s champion and they adore him for all of his crime-fighting efforts. And yet… there’s something missing from his life. And while Batman won’t come right out and say it, it’s pretty obvious from the jump that he misses being part of a family.
On the rusty side of the same coin, we have The Joker (Zach Galifianakis – The Hangover 2), who believes he’s Batman’s greatest enemy. That is until Batman sets the record straight, making Joker feel… less than appreciated. In response, The Joker, along with all of Batman’s most famous villains, give themselves up. This is actually a part of the Joker’s plan, to manipulate Batman into having him imprisoned in The Phantom Zone. Why go through all the trouble of being imprisoned, just to get tossed into a far worse prison? The Joker, with the help of Harley Quinn back on Earth, plans to unleash some of the worse villains held within the Phantom Zone, to unleash havoc on Gotham City. And to prove to Batman, one and for all, that he is his greatest enemy.
Fortunately, Batman isn’t alone in this fight, though he’d much rather be alone than involve anyone else; he’ll have his ward Dick Grayson aka Robin (Michael Cera), current Commissioner, Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl (Rosario Dawson), and even Alfred (Ralph Fiennes – Clash of the Titans) gets to don a Bat costume to lend a hand. And the fun doesn’t stop there as the film is LOADED with puns, Easter eggs, and Lego-centric jokes that’ll keep you entertained from start to finish. One of my favorite running gags is how the film handles Bruce Wayne/Batman identity (Batman is Bruce Wayne’s roommate) and another is how they poke jabs at all the Bat-films throughout the years.
And to top things off, expect a plethora of cameos appearances including the Justice League and Lego-baddies from hit films such as Voldemort, The Gremlins, and even Sauron from “Lord of the Rings”. You’d think an animated film packed with so much goodness, couldn’t possibly be any good at all. Well… you’d be wrong. So very, very wrong!
First and foremost, “The Lego Batman Movie” is hands-down, the most fun I’ve experienced in a film in a good while. And everything is on point as the story is tight, there’s plenty of eye candy, and most of all, the jokes are a definite hit. Not all of them were “laugh out loud” funny, but there’s a huge chunk of the film that’ll leave you in stitches. The film is an ambitious effort that succeeds in every way. Besides the antics of our main character, it’s the jokes that really sell the film, and nothing is off limits – and I mean nothing. The film throws comical jabs at the Bat-mythos including the stuff from the 60s, Robin’s quirky way of changing outfits and being adorably annoying, and there’s even a quick jab at his name “Dick”. And you can toss in plenty of puns towards the 1989 Batman film, mainly the line about those “wonderful toys”. This is a film that needs multiple viewing because there’s so much to see! Then there’s the acting; I haven’t seen the first “Lego Movie”, but my understanding is that Will Arnett owned the role in that film. Well, I have to say he kills it from the moment he does the opening voice over until the cheery ending. I really enjoyed his raspy take on the Bat and while he can be a tad bit campy, he fits well within the voice acting ranks of such greats as Kevin Conroy and even Diedrich Bader (Batman: Brave and the Bold). I gotta give props to Michael Cera, who adds a new level of charming to the role of “Robin”. Honestly, the character hasn’t been this much fun in quite some time and dude is a laugh riot in this film. Rosario Dawson also deserves some props as Batgirl, though she pretty much plays it straight, she gets in some chuckles here and there. In the end, if you haven’t seen “The Lego Batman Movie”, then do yourself a favor and check this one out. It’s simply the most fun you’ll have by far!
“The Lego Batman Movie” is still making the theatrical rounds, and if you haven’t seen it – go see it! And if you have seen it, then go see it again. The film is loaded with plenty of action and tons of laughs that make this an insta-win! So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving “The Lego Batman Movie” a perfect score of 5.