At this point, some of us might feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of superhero movies filling up our calendars. From TV shows to cinema blockbusters, super-powered protagonists have become a staple of our culture.
As if hearing our pleas from their gilded thrones above, Warner Bros. once again transformed some of the most iconic characters from various sources into their plastic LEGO counterparts, bringing us a masterfully crafted follow-up to the 2014 LEGO Movie.
Without a doubt, one of my favorite characters from the original LEGO movie, Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) returns with his very own stand-alone movie. Bringing a unique mix of humor, black clothing and metal rap, Bats is joined by a vast ensemble of characters ranging from his adorkable sidekick Robin (voiced by Michael Cera) and Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) to… the Eye of Sauron and Daleks? I guess that sounds about right for a LEGO movie.
Director Chris McKay clearly brings his experience from Robot Chicken to the big screen as we see a rapid bombardment of satire and humor. We have references to classic Batman, a part of Justice League members and even a dig at Marvel movies thrown in there.
While I can surely appreciate how the Lego Batman Movie does not take it self seriously, there were times when our protagonist’s dilemmas resonated with the audience. It seems weird to say that though. I mean, we’re seeing LEGO versions of superheroes right? How could we possibly relate to them in any shape, way or form?
Despite the bouts of hilarity that ensue in every corner of the film, we see Batman’s growth as a character. From a lonely lobster-eating egotist to someone who becomes more open to being part of a family. While it may seem a little out of place for a comedic animated film with the kind of randomness as this one, it only serves to heighten the story elements. This gives Batman’s character a sense of identity underneath the raspy voice and glowing cowl. Clearly the writers of this film understood how to use Batman better than certain others (cough, Snyder).
A lot of credit goes to the screenwriters as well, who managed to somehow prevent the wacky humor from overwhelming the overall plot of the movie. There’s a ton of action to look out for and DC fans will undoubtedly find the multitude of easter eggs entertaining. The Lego Batman Movie is a brilliant addition to the DC film roster and I’m hoping we see DC bring more comedic elements to their other films as well.
Honestly, I would have appreciated a little more focus on the whole LEGO aspect of the film, like building objects using the environment, which was wonderfully handled in first movie. All things considered, the movie was less a sequel to the original LEGO movie and more of a self-contained story. You are not required to watch the previous movie to enjoy this one and you don’t need to be a Batfan to appreciate the humor.