The Lego Batman Movie (2017) – Film Review
Director: Chris McKay
Voice Cast: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson
by Anel Blazevic
Ironic that this wildly inventive and seriously funny caped crusader off-shoot reclaims some credibility for the DC comic legend after the major league letdowns of Batman Vs Superman and Suicide Squad.
Indeed, the first whiplash ten minutes of this animated adventure are up there with anything I’ve seen for sheer visceral entertainment value.
Batman is cast as a lonely outsider, padding around his Lego mansion bemoaning his lack of friends, waiting around impatiently for the bat signal to bring him action and interaction. It’s a brilliant device, at once satirising the overly serious silliness of some of the Batman oeuvre, while simultaneously digging in to the disturbed psyche of a superhero during downtime.
“Great jokes and visual gags”
But there’s plenty of other digs, references and homages throughout. Yes, The Lego Batman Movie is a pisstake, but it’s also reverent in all the right places – at times it’s even a reassessment of the legacy. And it’s this perfect balance which gives the movie gravitas, credibility and depth.
The Joker’s on board, natch, devising an evil scheme that forces Batman (deeply voiced by Will Arnett) to ditch his loner pride and ask pesky stepson Robin (Michael Cera) for crimefighting assistance (this despite the fact that Robin has been living in Bruce Wayne’s mansion for a week without the caped crusader even noticing).
The film’s at its best when at its most frenetic, great jokes and visual gags almost spilling over one another. At times it overstretches when searching for profundity, but that in itself is almost a credit to the (seemingly endless roll of) writers.
So don’t cock a snook at The Lego Batman Movie – it’s funny, poignant and joyously entertaining.