After the enormous success of the immensely crowd pleasing The LEGO Movie, Warner Bros. opted to go the spin-off route instead of a direct sequel with The LEGO Batman Movie. Will Arnett’s comical interpretation of the Caped Crusader was the scene stealer of the first film, so it made total sense to explore the legacy of Batman even more in LEGO form. Instead of jumping from world to world like in The LEGO Movie, the audience stays put in Gotham getting treated to numerous Easter Eggs from Batman lore and a full of roster of villains led by The Joker voiced by Zach Galifianakis. Even though the film takes place in one central location, there is still plenty of crossover moments and witty laughs from the second the opening credits roll.
One of the reasons The LEGO Batman Movie avoids falling into the less than stellar spin-off trap is it still feels like a big film in its own right. This is still a Batman focused story, but you get numerous other film properties that make appearances and take part in the movie thanks to an entertaining plot involving The Joker’s master plan, The Phantom Zone and a little 1980’s nostalgia. Seeing all the surprise characters show up throughout The LEGO Batman Movie gives you the feeling Warner Bros. isn’t just creating a spin-off film, but making another installment in their own movie world similar to what Marvel and DC Films are doing with their on-screen film universes. More than anything it brings a smile to your face seeing Batman interact and battle with other famous characters that you only thought would be possible if your were playing LEGO Dimensions at home on your PS4.
The explosive LEGO brick action within the beautifully built world of The LEGO Batman Movie is a lot of fun, however what makes the film is the hysterical voice work by Will Arnett as Batman. Who would have thought Arnett would make such a great Dark Knight, but the former Arrested Development actor shows why Warner Bros. made the right decision to make a film focused on his version of The Batman. Arnett’s serious, yet silly take on Batman will have you laughing from start to finish. Sometimes less is more and spin-offs can over do it with the character quirks (See Minions), but The LEGO Batman Movie allows Arnett to shine thanks to a smart script that will have the whole family giggling. The rest of the cast including Zach Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred and Michael Cera as Robin do a great job, but make no mistake. This is Arnett’s show in The LEGO Batman Movie and he owns it.
Now for those who attempt to compare The LEGO Batman Movie to the original The LEGO Movie, you may feel disappointed. The first film caught everyone by surprise creating something special no one was expecting. This new expansion in the LEGO Movie World is missing that certain something that made The LEGO Movie amazing, but that doesn’t mean The LEGO Batman Movie isn’t a great film. This is truly a very funny movie from start to finish with smart dumb gags, which is not always easy to pull off. The film is also a love letter to Batman exploring his place in Pop Culture and poking a little fun at the cowled vigilante. Batman fans of all ages will love The LEGO Batman Movie and make you wonder how Warner Bros. can get the DC Universe right in LEGO form, but not in live action. I’m looking at YOU Zack Snyder!
Overall, I give The LEGO Batman Movie 3.25 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell