Review: ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ (Pew Pew Pew)

You deserve this today. Today, you deserve this.

Somewhere in LEGOLAND, Gotham City is under attack by a consortium of villains led by the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker (Zach Galifianakis)… but Batman (Will Arnet) isn’t exactly committal over who his greatest enemy is. After looking cool defeating all the bad guys once again and a quick stop to dispense merchandise at an orphanage, Batman returns to his lonely Batcave to be all alone — except for Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) reminding him he doesn’t have to be alone; maybe adopting that orphan boy Robin (Michael Cera) would help. Anyway, during a retirement ceremony with Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) celebrating the retirement of her father, every supervillain in the city surrenders to the new commissioner… and Batman finds himself with no one to fight. Is it a trick? Of COURSE it’s a trick…

The incarnations of Batman have graced comics, television, and the silver screen since The Dark Knight’s creation. He’s gone from hamming it up my in the swinging 1960s to theatrical in 1990s and why-so-serious in the 2000s. With the lukewarm reception of “Batfleck” in When Batman Met Superman, it took The Lego Movie to return Batman to his former too-cool but too-serious-to-take-seriously persona. While a scene stealer in the previous ensemble Lego cast, can the “brick knight” successfully master-build his own movie?

For another major motion picture that’s essentially one giant advertisement for an educational toy, The Lego Batman Movie wallows in all things Dark Knight while never forgetting to treat everything as if it all comes from a kid’s imagination. The Lego Movie managed to do this in the best possible way with a sneaky live-action sequence nearly no one saw coming, but you can only get away with that trick once. Fortunately, there’s so much Batman history to tease and make fun of that the movie almost wrote itself, and with the exception of a few overlong sequences, this newest Lego movie destroys Batman, superheroes, super-villains, and pop culture in the most hilarious ways imaginable.

With a celebrity voice cast having as much fun lending their voices as the viewers have watching the animation, the production hits the box office sweet spot ruled: entertaining and manic enough for kids while winking nostalgically at the adults. Like Batman himself from The Lego Movie, the best scene-stealers are famous icons from other franchises, any or all of which may eventually end up as stars of their own films as well — who doesn’t want The Lego Lord of the Rings Movie? Or The Lego Doctor Who Movie?

The Lego Batman Movie is rated PG for rude humor, some action, and Apple’s movie-long advertisement with Siri as the voice of ‘Puter.

3 Skull Recommendation Out of Four

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