As soon as I saw Batman appear in The Lego Movie, I did wonder how long it would take before a Lego Batman movie was made. And lo and behold, there was one! And that is the film I’m reviewing today.
I’ve always loved Batman, ever since I first saw the Adam West Batman series. I also loved the Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan Batman films. Although I have to say my FAVOURITE Batman of all time is Kevin Conroy. No one can do a Batman voice like him! The Killing Joke is one of my favourite comics of all time as well – as was the Knightfall storyline. And this is just some of the stuff I like about Batman. So you can imagine how surprised I was when this film pretty much referenced EVERYTHING Batman related. Well, almost everything.
The Lego Batman Movie is both a parody and a tribute to the Batman franchise as a whole. It features pretty much EVERY villain in Batman’s rogue’s gallery, including the obscure ones from the 60’s Batman. I’m pretty sure that even the mutant leader from The Dark Knight Returns makes an appearance! It was kinda like a “How many villains can you fit in one film” sorta thing. And I think that’s cool! Admittedly, aside from the Joker, none of them really get much in the way of character development. But who cares? It’s Lego!
Just like The Lego Movie, there is rambunctious comedy that will have you in fits the whole way through. Making fun of pretty much every cliché imaginable, it creates a fast paced story that will most definitely leave you in stitches. A lot of it is from Batman himself, played in the most comedic and over the top way, almost making him an overactive child in some way. Sure he comes across as selfish and spiteful a few times – but then again the real Batman was never a huge fan about revealing his feelings in the comics, so it’s just parodying that.
But it’s not just a “Batman beats the bad guys” movie; there is more depth to the story than that. In fact it actually surprised me how much thought they put into the story. And this comes down to the story between Dick Grayson (who becomes Robin) and Batman. Grayson is taken in as a reluctant son to Bruce Wayne and joins Batman on his journey. However, Batman is reluctant to let anyone into his life – which many that don’t know him put down to him being arrogant and selfish. But, as anyone that’s read a Batman comic or seen a film will know, Batman is afraid of letting people into his life after losing his own family. Ironically, and this is actually something a friend at work pointed out, Batman already HAS a family in the form of Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon, Dick Grayson and of course, Alfred. If anything, Batman thinks by acting this way he is protecting them, but in actual fact is pushing them AWAY. That’s always been a key theme in Batman’s story – by working alone he thinks he is protecting himself from more hurt. When in reality there are some things even he can’t do alone.
Another key story involves the Joker having a “Mid-life Crisis” as it where when Batman refuses to acknowledge him as his main villain. He then concocts a plan to break into the Phantom Zone where all the biggest baddies live. Here, everyone from Sauron to the Daleks from Doctor Who (named as British robots probably due to licensing issues) join forces with the Joker in an attempt to take Lego Gotham – leading to a HUGE confrontation at the end. I probably shouldn’t say too much for spoilers, so I’ll just leave it there.
Pretty much everything about this film is – much like the song from the last movie – awesome! It has some fantastic voice acting from big names such as Will Arnett, Rosaria Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Cera, Mariah Carey (of all people!), Jermaine Clement, Eddie Izzard, heck even Chris Hardwick from The Talking Dead show is on there! And that’s just the ones I can remember without Googling them. The cast list is just incredible and all of them do a fantastic job in bringing the characters to life.
There isn’t really anything bad I can mention about this film – and to be honest not really even any nitpicks! Well, I guess they COULD have included the Justice League a bit more but, that’s about it. Otherwise this is a fun filled ride with all the inventiveness and hilarity of the first Lego Movie – turned up to eleven! Entertaining for both adults and children alike, casual or devoted Batman fans, or just anyone that likes a good family film. There is something for everyone here and no doubt Batman Lego will surely be the top selling toy for a while.
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. The Lego Batman Movie gets a bat-tastic 5 out of 5!
Join me again for another movie review. Same Lego-Bat time, same Lego-Bat channel. In other words, when I see another film this year.