Movie Review: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Directed by Chris McKay, and acting as a semi-stand alone/semi Lego Movie sequel, The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 animated comedy film. Will Arnett returns as Batman, the caped crusader and protector of Gotham City against the likes of The Joker (Zach Galifianakis), while Michael Cera joins the cast as orphan Dick Grayson / Robin and Ralph Fiennes acts as the Wayne family butler, Alfred Pennyworth. When Commissioner Gordon retires and passes the torch onto his daughter, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), Batman finds new challenges in working with the police whilst clashing personally with his allies including the police, Alfred and Robin, and even the Justice League.

Please note there are spoilers here. I promise they won’t ruin the movie for you, but as far as I am aware, it relates to something which wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the build up (pun intended) to the movie.

+ Will Arnett is still great as a less-serious (or, if you will, over the top serious) Batman. He is so good, in fact, that every time I hear Will Arnett (even in something like Bojack Horseman), I just imagine Batman
+ I personally really, really enjoyed Zach Galifianakis as the Joker. Galifianakis really brought some emotion to his voice performance, which was something I don’t necessarily expect when I think of The Joker. Coupled with the fantastic animation, particularly The Joker’s often scarily-large smile or upset pouting, made for a unique, and unforgettable Joker performance
+ the rest of the voice acting was also great; Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon and a particularly sarcastic Ralph Fiennes as Alfred. Overall, actually, there was a surprisingly talented pool of voice actors for relatively minor roles
+ the inclusion of various other non-DC characters, including the Daleks, King Kong and The Wicked Witch of the West was incredible surprising, and really added a nice twist to what was quickly becoming a regular old Batman movie. Sauron (Jermaine Clement) and the Creature From The Black Lagoon, especially, made for so much fun it was hard to fault this somewhat out-of-left field development
+ golly I laughed at the references to the various live-action Batman movies and the lesser known villains

thelegobatmanmovie_2.jpg
The Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis (image via ComingSoon.net)

– as much fun as Will Arnett’s Batman (the character) is, I can’t help but feel it was a bit much. Batman in The Lego Movie was good, and I think that maybe stretching that out into a 100+ minute solo outing was a bit overkill

> I absolutely, unironically and entirely LOVE Bane from The Dark Knight Rises… because it was such a terrible idea for him to sound the way he did. He sounds the same in this movie, voiced to perfection by comedian Doug Benson
> Rosario Dawson really does get around when it comes to comic book movies; aside from being Claire Temple in the Netflix Marvel series’, she is Barbara Gordon here, has voiced Wonder Woman many times and voiced Artemis in the 2009 Wonder Woman animated movie

Should you see this film: I enjoyed this movie. The mid-film shift in story was a very welcome change, and Will Arnett has not overstayed his welcome as Batman just yet. There is enough here for children and adults to find something to laugh at, and I think you’ll find this worth your time to watch.

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