It’s amazing that the best Batman movie since The Dark Knight is an animated spoof. And judging by DC’s track record after Nolan, it’s going to be the best Batman movie for at least ten more years.
Obviously, one of the breakout stars of The Lego Move was Will Arnett as Batman. Perfectly sending up the gravelly voiced Bale Batman and throwing in a few bro touches really did the trick. No surprise they were able to make a full movie out of it.
Batman is in trouble. Not only has the Joker unleashed every supervillain that WB could get their hands on, but Bruce Wayne is having a bit of an identity crisis. Brought on by the adoption of Richard ‘Dick’ Grayson (who can’t believe he was adopted by the most famous orphan of all time) the retirement of old Jim Gordon, and Alfred’s insistence that Batman is truly scared of being a part of a family again. Not of clown snakes as Batman thinks. Oh, and there’s a side plot where the Joker is sad that Batman doesn’t care about their relationship? It’s a bit weird.
Anyways, if you wanted another Lego Movie, boy-howdy you got it. Whoever is on staff writing the jokes for these films is just top notch. The combination of clever jokes, idiotic puns, frenetic action, and barely concealed adult humor, makes this the perfect kids movie for adults to see on Saturday night by themselves. I was laughing straight out of the gate. And I didn’t stop laughing until the end credits.
The joy of this movie is the sheer amount of Batman in-jokes. They reference some of his more inane villains (The Orca, anyone?) and even bring up the infamous bat-nipples. A well placed Suicide Squad joke is ruined when they perform that exact same plot, but it made me laugh nonetheless. And the animation, oh the animation is glorious. So fast paced, but somehow doesn’t make you dizzy. I know it’s not stop motion, but I loved the small touch of a fingerprint mark on Batman’s leg in some shots. The attention to detail here is immense.
I could go on and on about the brilliant casting (except Zach Galfianakis as the Joker) and I will. Michael Cera as Robin, playing up the Arrested Development vibe. Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth when literal Voldemort shows up. And you tell me why it was necessary to cast Billy Dee Williams for three lines as two-face, I’ll wait.
This is very much a kid’s movie. And I can see it growing old with time (the next Lego film already has a trailer out.) But for right now, the humor is relentless, the action is astounding, the visuals amazing, and it looks exactly how I imagined it when I was a little boy messing around with Legos. Too much fun.
3 out of 4 stars.