The Lego Batman Movie is the first spin-off from the highly successful 2014 film, The Lego Movie, and it follows in its parent’s footsteps as a highly hilarious, brick-filled romp but doesn’t quite pack the same punch as its predecessor.
The movie follows the titular character, Batman (Will Arnett), as he juggles new responsibilities while trying to keep Gotham safe from the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker (Zach Galifianakis). After several failed attempts to overthrow the Dark Knight, The Joker turns to the biggest baddies in the Lego universe to unleash total chaos on Gotham and rid the world of Batman once and for all.
The story line of Lego Batman is, as with all superhero movies, a tad on the predictable side, with it following the same beats as most other superhero films. Its opening is one of the most fast-paced ever seen in cinema but it does slow and become easier to follow as the film progresses. However the story is not where the main strength of this film lies. That falls to the meta, self-aware humour used to great affect in the original Lego Moive and it adds a whole new Lego dimension to the Caped Crusader.
The casting itself does work for the most part with characters like Batman (Will Arnett) and Robin (Michael Cera) being voiced perfectly by the actors playing them. However, certain characters would be even better if their voice roles were switched around a bit. Although Zach Galifiniankis plays The Joker very well indeed, it would still be cool to see him played by Mark Hamill, the usual go-to guy when it comes to voice acting The Joker instead. This also brings me to Ralph Fiennes, who does an excellent job as Alfred but one of the villains in this film is lacking a certain something as they aren’t voiced by Fiennes, as seen in another franchise with this particular villain in.
Chris McKay, the animation co-director of the first Lego Movie takes charge of this spin-off and does an amicable job, even more so when you consider that this is his first feature length film as a director. He does a good job at bringing the humour out of the actors and at moving the film along at a pace but fails to find that stand-out spark that made the first Lego Movie so good.
The soundtrack has a good mix of classic Batman themes as you’ve never heard them before, with some alterations of them to allow them to fit in with the feel of the movie. Keep a keen ear out for links to the series from the 60s and also the more recent Dark Knight trilogy.
Excluding The Dark Knight, probably the best superhero movie ever made, The Lego Batman Movie has to be one of, if not the best Batman film for decades. It blows Batman v Superman right out of the water and is far more entertaining than the likes of Batman and Robin, you know, the one with George Clooney as Batman and Arold Schwarzenggar as Mr Freeze *shudders*. There’s also a nice little dig at DC’s latest movie in there too, Suicide Squad, which was a bit of a letdown in itself – anyway, I digress.
The Lego Batman movie is undoubtedly a good watch and a fun-filled experience but after the first Lego movie set the bar so high, it was always going to be tough for the spin-off to meet the expectations thrust upon it. It is a thoroughly enjoyable film but lacks the spark that set the Lego Movie apart.
The Lego Batman Movie was released in the UK on February 10, 2017.