Everything is awesome with The Lego Batman Movie, though for a brief period. Chris McKay steps into the director’s chair this time around for The LEGO Batman Movie. This follows his successful stint as the Editor and Animation Co-Director on The LEGO Movie.
This one’s a spinoff of 2014’s The LEGO Movie that focuses on Batman. In order to stop the Joker from taking over Gotham City, the Caped Crusader may have to learn how to give up the lone vigilante act and recruit the help of allies Robin and Batgirl.
The movie sees Will Arnett voicing the Dark Knight for the first time since his debut in the original LEGO Movie, and it would seem his debut lead performance as the Caped Crusader is one that’s really got the critics talking, all for the right reasons, of course. In this installment, you will see Bruce Wayne go on a personal journey to find himself, discovering the importance of working as a team in the hopes of saving Gotham City once more from the villainous forces of The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and his cronies.
There’s a lot in the movie that works – this includes an inventive style of animation and some very funny nods to the Dark Knight’s history. Despite that, humour is sadly an area the movie struggles with because while it’s entertaining throughout, it lacks the wit and big laughs that Phil Lord and Chris Miller brought to the table with The LEGO Movie.
On the surface, while many of the jokes are sometimes painful and idiotic, beneath the surface it cleverly mocks Batman or other subjects. Also, the movie has some heart and tells a strong story about Batman embracing a family again, but it’s never quite enough to really grab you and make you fully invest in these pint-sized characters.
While The Lego Movie was creative and exciting because it was through a child’s eyes, in contrast, The Lego Batman Movie feels like it is talking down to children. It is fairly nice that it provides a surprisingly nice lesson for a Batman movie. Otherwise, it just cannot compete with The Lego Movie to create the imaginative childlike wonder.
Having said that, however, the action is still stirring, rivaling the multi-million spectacles from recent superhero blockbusters out of sheer excess and absurdity. The movie understands that the beauty of playing around with Lego blocks is that while there seems to be no rules at all, the player is bound by a toy design that limits movements and in effect, expressions.
I thoroughly loved the movie, though I have to say that it is good for a one time viewing only. The Lego Batman Movie is fun for kids, but mostly forgettable for everyone else.