I loved The LEGO Movie three years ago (has it really been that long?). It was witty, exciting, and had a fun story. The LEGO Batman Movie took everything good from the first film, multiplied it by ten, and made a totally awesome Batman film.
As with The LEGO Movie in 2014, this film is animated to appear as if it is stop-motion animation using LEGOs. All of the characters movie as if they are LEGOs, with a jerky motion reminiscent of playing with the various LEGOs as a kid. All of the buildings, characters, environments, and so on are all created using LEGO pieces that actually exist in the real world. Despite those limitations, all of the animation is top notch.
The LEGO Batman Movie story was awesome. Joker gets mad that Batman won’t admit his role in making Batman a hero, so Joker plots revenge. As this is the first legitimate comedy version of Batman in a long time (that Batman and Robin movie from a while back doesn’t count…for anything), nothing is taken too seriously. This worked very well for the film. The writers really hit a grand slam with this one.
The music features the Batman theme from The LEGO Movie (by Mark Mothersbaugh) as well as a new soundtrack by Lorne Balfe. The music fit the film like a well-tailored glove. Every note used in the film made the film even better than the awesomeness it already was.
One of the most awesome (did I mention “awesome” yet?) parts in The LEGO Batman Movie was the music video during part of the credits. “Friends Are Family” was perfect for the tone of the film, and everyone got shiny white outfits for it:
That image embodies just how awesome this film is. Will Arnett was perfect (again) as Batman. Based on the trailers, I thought Michael Cera might be too over the top as Robin, but I was wrong. He totally nailed the role. It was like poetry in motion watching those two play off each other. This film contains my favorite version of Harley Quinn, too. Jenny Slate, who voiced Bellwether in Zootopia, hit it out of the park.
There were so many references to previous incarnations of Batman, as well as to other universes, too. Daleks from Doctor Who, Sauron from the Lord of the Rings films, Voldemort from the Harry Potter series, the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, and many more. There are so many, I’m sure devoted fans will be trying to make lists of all of them for months.
The LEGO Batman Movie is my favorite Batman movie ever (and I really liked Batman Begins). I was laughing from the beginning to the end, and for all the right reasons. That doesn’t happen often enough anymore, so when I find such a brilliant gem of a film as this, I recommend it. Very highly. Go see it now.
Release Date: February 10, 2017 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief social)
Language: 1 (some mild, deity)
Violence: 1 (LEGO fights, some death, all very caricaturized)