THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE:
HOLY “BLOCK-BUSTER”, BATMAN, THIS MOVIE IS FUN!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: *** ½ out of 4
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Batman ready to save the world in The Lego Batman Movie
After the massive success of 2014’s The Lego Movie, it only figures to create a Lego Cinematic Universe (after all, that’s where the money’s at these days), and who better to start it than DC’s beloved Caped Crusader, Batman? Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Blades of Glory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)) returns as the voice of the cocky, beatboxing superhero, Batman in The Lego Batman Movie, and he may very well be the funniest Batman we’ve ever had (Intentionally).
The movie brilliantly satirizes Batman’s long history, several references to the Christopher Nolan movies, Batman v. Superman, the Tim Burton movies, Batman: The Animated Series, the 60s Adam West show, there’s even a couple references to the original 1940s movie serials and Batman Beyond in here. Lego Batman succeeds at compiling several Batman elements together, something Zack Snyder failed at last year.
It doesn’t stop there, with all the chaos and insanity happening in this movie, The Lego Batman Movie also has a lot of heart. The characters are developed very well in this movie, and it teaches a strong lesson about family, with no whiny Chris O’Donnell Robin in sight to ruin the moment, but I digress.
The film follows billionaire, Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman, just doing what he does best, fighting bad guys, keeping Gotham City safe, and of course looking really cool while doing so. However, Bruce Wayne unintentionally adopts a young, energetic, orphan named Dick Grayson AKA Robin (voiced by Michael Cera-Arrested Development, Juno, Scott Pilgrim VS The World) and tries to come to terms with being both Batman and a father.
But when a mission to stop his arch-nemesis, the Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis-The Hangover trilogy, Puss in Boots, The Campaign) from destroying the city goes horribly wrong, when he tells the Joker that he means nothing to him as an enemy, the Joker enters the Phantom Zone where he unleashes an army of villains onto Gotham City, all because Batman hurt his feelings.
So, it’s up to Batman to be aware of his greatest flaw as a superhero, he “Works Alone” and learn how to work with a team to save the day. Batman, his butler, Alfred (voiced by Ralph Fiennes-The English Patient, Harry Potter franchise, James Bond franchise), Robin, and Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (voiced by Rosario Dawson-Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Unstoppable, Ratchet & Clank) must join forces to stop the Joker and become the best “Bat-Family” ever.
The film also features the voices of singer, Mariah Carey (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Popstar: Never Stop, Never Stopping) as Mayor McCaskill, Jenny Slate (Obvious Child, Zootopia, The Secret Life of Pets) as Harley Quinn, Siri as the Batcomputer (I’m not making this up!), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars: Episodes V and VI, Batman (1989), Fanboys) reprising his role from Tim Burton’s Batman as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Héctor Elizondo (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman) as Commissioner Gordon, Conan O’Brien (Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2) as The Riddler, Jason Mantzoukas (The League, Regular Show, Regular Show: The Movie) as Scarecrow, Doug Benson (Friends, Curb Your Enthusiasm, How I Met Your Mother) as Bane, Zoe Kravitz (The Divergent Series, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) as Catwoman, Kate Micucci (Teen Titans Go, Rio 2, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water) as Clayface, Riki Lindhome (Gilmore Girls, Million Dollar Baby, Adventure Time) as Poison Ivy, Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe, 21 Jump Street, The Book of Life) as Superman, Jonah Hill (Horton Hears a Who, Moneyball, 21 Jump Street) as Green Lantern, and Adam DeVine (Workaholics, Pitch Perfect, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) as The Flash.
Overall, The Lego Batman Movie is an absolute blast, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the best Batman movie since The Dark Knight. The action is spectacular, the comedic timing is excellent, and just about every reference to Batman in the past is a hilarious throwback to the past.
As I mentioned before, the characters in this movie are strong, you feel for Batman as a character in this, despite being kind of a jerk and fool of himself, he shows that he can see the flaws in himself and change for the best, I actually care about Lego Batman so much more than Ben Affleck in the DC Universe. Robin is also very likable in this, and it helps that he isn’t a damsel in distress this time around, he’s capable of helping Batman fight bad guys, has a good heart, and even delivers some really funny lines, also Michael Cera’s voice, perfect casting.
Zach Galifianakis is funny as the Joker, and his take on the character is very refreshing, what he’s trying to accomplish in this movie is all because Batman doesn’t give his arch-nemesis the proper respect he deserves as a villain, kind of like if Wreck-It Ralph was a villain throughout most of that movie, and you actually feel bad for the Joker, so next time I watch him stab a man’s eye with a pencil, I’ll cry a little.
What more can I say? Dazzling animation, thrilling action, lots of humor and heart, nostalgia, and plenty of unexpected surprises that only a Lego movie could do. Granted, I didn’t think the resolution of this film was as strong as The Lego Movie, but it does teach the importance of family and looking after one another, even if your dad dresses up like a Bat every night.