Review: The LEGO Batman Movie

Score: B+

Director: Chris McKay

Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Finnes

Running Time: 114 Minutes

Rated: PG

“DC, the house that Batman build.”

For once we get a Batman film that doesn’t dwell on the drama.  Forgoing the usual formula that has made Gotham a dark and dreary place where villains go to thwart the Caped Crusader, Chris McKay’s hilarious film has finagled itself into the wondrous DC universe without the hype, the drama or the backlash.

Filled to the brim with witty banter and outrageous moments that stir a plethora of laughs, The LEGO Batman Movie is a unique and fairly pleasant time - though much of it comes at the expense of the Batman movie universe.

Zach Galifanakis’s Joker gets reminded about that time he used two boats in an attempt to end the city, and Bane’s voice is a hard jab at Tom Hardy’s unintentionally funny portrayal in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

But some of the best laughs come in response to Batman himself.

Voiced by Will Arnett, the film captures the ridiculousness associated with the world’s greatest detective - and they don’t hold back.  From his overdone suit and overly elaborate means of transportation to his cocky social behavior and unusual ability to eat lobster without removing the shell, no rock is left unturned.  Hell, even his recent run in with Superman is the center of a run of jokes, a subtle though well played call to the recent DC bandwagon fanboys (and girls) that had the unfortunate chore of sitting through Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice last year.

But what makes Batman so damn funny is the fact that to Batman, everything is business as usual.  He takes himself so seriously, overly compensating for the loneliness that comes with being the city’s most prolific vigilante.

This opens the door for Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) and Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) to point out the ridiculous way he lives his life.  Cue what can only be described as a heavily powered over the top (and thus incredible) take on Robin.  Constantly walking around ripping off his pants to give a shamelessly accurate portrayal of Burt Ward’s 1966 take on Batman’s primary sidekick, the orphan turned superhero rounds out the group that must somehow convince Batman to change his solo ways.

Unlike Batman in 2014’s The LEGO Movie, this time around there isn’t a true breakout star.  That isn’t to say there won’t be a follow-up, isn’t just not as obvious as Will Arnett’s flawless take on the iconic Dark Knight.

That being said, the entire DC Universe is on full display throughout the film as we find ourselves gleefully clapping to the likes of Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Joker, Harley Quinn, The Riddler and The Flash.  Not to be outdone are the lesser known (but 100% authentic) Calendar Man, Clayman, Clock King and Condiment King (worth a google).  And one cannot forgot those who appear to have jumped film universes a la Voldemort, King Kong and Sauron.  Together they cover a wide spectrum of tastes, almost guaranteeing that whoever watches LEGO Batman will know at least one of the characters depicted by building blocks.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

Leave a Reply