#REVIEW: “THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
In 2014 the world was gifted The Lego Movie, which took fans and critics alike by storm as one of the most enjoyable Animated Movies in recent memory. It should be no shock that one of the most beloved Warner Bros. properties Batman, would get his own spin-off in The Lego Batman Movie and that the sequel be just as entertaining and fun as its predecessor. The Lego Batman Movie is the most fun the family has had at the Movies all year.
Within the Batman universe, a dominant theme is ultimate quest for good versus evil and at the center of it are Batman (Will Arnett) and The Joker (Zach Galifianakis). The Joker plants a bomb under Gotham City and Batman catches him, where an ultimatum is delivered that he must either capture Joker once and for all or save Gotham. Batman does what he does best in saving Gotham, but not without first telling The Joker that he means absolutely nothing to him, there is no “us” and more importantly he is not his greatest enemy. This ignites The Joker to reassure us that he truly is the world’s greatest villain and bane of Batman’s existence if you will. He then wants to be thrown into Superman’s (Channing Tatum) Phantom Zone, thus making him Batman’s ultimate nemesis.
There is also a subplot in The Lego Batman Movie which focuses on Batman adopting Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) and Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). What makes this dynamic interesting is that according Batman’s mythology, he always has preferred working alone, but there is always that scenario here where he needs the help of either Dick, Alfred or even Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (Rosario Dawson).
What makes this Movie work well, aside from a genuinely hilarious and thoughtful script, is the voice acting. Will Arnett’s portrayal of self-righteous billionaire Bruce Wayne/Batman is so perfect that he can be named alongside other great Batmen of the yesterday. There is just something about his brooding performance that mixes old DC Batman with new Batman adaptations. Michael Cera‘s Dick wants nothing more than to be in a family and fit-in, becoming ultimately a campy Robin, is without flaw. The rest of the cast, including Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Siri, Conan O’Brien, Jenny Slate, Billy Dee Williams and a plethora of other marquee names playing numerous other villains is applause-worthy. Zach Galifianakis’ interpretation of The Joker is not quite as odd as Romero’s 66 Joker, nor quite as crazy as Nicholson’s and less disturbing than Ledger’s. There is a medium between the three that hits in some instances and misses in others but the heart of the character is certainly there.
If you love Batman and loved The Lego Movie, then you will fall in love with the The Lego Batman Movie. An original story, with some great performances, that also manages to poke fun at every Batman of the past and the current state of the DC universe, specifically Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman. The Lego Batman Movie delivers non-stop enjoyment for the whole family. So grab your grappling gun, get in the Batmobile and see The Lego Batman Movie.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE Friday, February 10, 2017.