The LEGO Batman Movie Review: Fly, Robin, Fly

Chad White

Loves: The LEGO Movie, Flash, Crossovers
Likes: Batman
Dislikes: Overuse of Batman
Hates: A coked up Flash

Who doesn't skip leg day? Batman!

Making a spin off to an animated movie is a bold move. But Warner Bros. had the power of Batman on their side. Their gamble worked and now The LEGO Batman is sure to be a hit with the kids and their parents. Will Arnett leads a sensational cast thanks to the hands of a large writer’s room and amazing direction from Chris McKay. Quite frankly, The LEGO Batman Movie might just have improved on the already perfect The LEGO Movie.

At the start, Batman is happy with everything he’s ever done save for not having a family. But that all changes once he sees Barbra Gordon (Rosario Dawson) who takes over as commissioner after her father retires. Her plan is to have Gotham Police work hand in hand with Batman, something the hero is not too keen on. In his dizzying moments of being dazzled by Gordon, Bruce Wayne accidentally agrees to adopt a young child, Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), who Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) suggests Wayne take under his wing.

The story moves quickly at a rapid pace. It’s funny but all too bright for the large-scale action pieces that accompany it. Oddly enough, there’s heart – especially in the quiet moments that have Batman pondering his loneliness. The ending is pretty much telegraphed seeing as how Batman only wants a family and ends up fighting with his surrogate family within twenty minutes from the start. But all the story elements work well enough for these little misgivings to be forgotten. What’s more, the use of other LEGO entities really ties into what the company is doing right now. Having Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and all these other references on reserve opens up the world for storytelling.

McKay’s direction and the writing team’s (there are too many to name so just read the post-review notes below) steering of the movie is nothing short of superb. The same can be said about the voice acting, cameos (again; see the notes below), and jokes. Make no mistake: this is a children’s movie but it certainly has the page pushing jokes adults come to expect.

Should you watch The LEGO Batman Movie?

Fans of the original should be happy and anyone who likes to be entertained will love it. There’s nothing wrong with a superhero movie but this new shine on the genre is welcome.

Notes

  • Okay. That writing team. It’s big. Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, and John Whittington took over writing while Smith developed the story. That’s entirely too many people. This is one of the few times the movie did turn out good but, more often than not, too many cooks in the kitchen something something.
  • There’s a lot of blink and you’ll miss it voice roles here. Chris Hardwick, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O’Brien, Kate Miccuci, Zoe Kravitz…that’s just a few. Some of them only get two words!
  • I am so sick of the way the LEGO brand (games included) treats Flash. He’s not a guy who seems like he’s always high on uppers. Flash is the strongest hero in DC’s arsenal and he should be treated as such, damnit!
  • Having Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Superman respectively is my favorite type of continuity.
  • Having LEGO Batman exists as this 90 year old entity with straight up mentions of the previous live action movies made this my favorite series of meta jokes for any show or movie.
  • I'm very tired of this insitence that Warner Bros. has to cash in on Batman. There are forty other heroes that'd be great in their own movies and shows.