The Lego Batman Movie: "I Saved The World Again Today. It Was Off The Chain"

Director: Chris McKay
Writer:     Seth Grahame-Smith
                Chris McKenna
                Erik Sommers
                Jared Stern
                John Whittington
Starring: Will Arnett
                Ralph Fiennes
                Rosario Dawson
                Michael Cera
                Zach Galifianakis
                Jenny Slate
                Mariah Carey
                Billy Dee Williams
                Conan O'Brien
                Zoe Kravitz
                Channing Tatum
                Jonah Hill
                Adam DeVine
                Eddie Izzard 
                Seth Green
                Jemaine Clement
                Ellie Kemper
Rating:    *****

Release Date: Out Now 

To some it was a surprise, and to others it wasn't, but 2014's The Lego Movie was...well, awesome. The directors made a colourful, exciting and absurd animation using everyone's childhood favourite, Lego. It featured a vast variety of cameos, including the awesome Batman voiced by the always funny Will Arnett; and his character was so enigmatic and entertaining he is back with his own spin-off.

Now Batman has his own Lego set and his own movie, so could easily be seen as a quick way for the company to make a whole lot of money, however The Lego Batman Movie never comes across this way. From the get go it is clear that this is a dry and witty look at these big budget movies and how ridiculous they can become, taking themselves way too seriously. It has hints of Deadpool, but for the whole family this time.

The Lego Batman Movie is scattered with brilliant connections to The Lego Move, but don't be mistaken; this is a Batman film. While it has connections, no characters make a crossover from the 2014 caper. It is in the middle of Lego Gotham City, and the brick Caped Crusader pays close attention to its previous films, series and comics throughout.  He is still the arrogant alter-ego of the extremely rich Bruce Wayne, and the crime fighting hero happily gets to work in the Batcave as always. Plus, Wayne/Batman is still joined by his father figure butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Fiennes) throughout.

There are plenty of familiar faces throughout the film, including two-face, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn; but the big villain in The Lego Batman Movie is The Joker (Galifianakis).
He relies on his ongoing battle with Batman to keep working on his evil doings, and the film focuses on the fact that these two characters actually need each other to have a purpose; all while remaining wickedly funny. The voice work from Arnett and Galifianakis is perfectly executed and the dryness of Arnett against the energetic Galifianakis balance each other superbly.

Also, at some point within the craziness of the movie, Batman barely notices the arrival of a young orphan named Dick Grayson (Cera) in his life. This adds a hilarious dynamic
to the films pace, and adds some heart to the film with themes about family and acceptance beaming through. At times it gets a bit much, but for a kids movie, it works. Cera is also adorably geeky with his character, and you soon fall in love with him, much faster than Batman does anyway.

The film brilliantly includes parts of Batman from across history, it doesn't just rely on the recent reincarnations, giving it extra levels ad filling it with fun easter eggs. It also incorporates characters from all across the DC Universe, including Superman, Green Lantern and The Flash (who are voiced perfectly by Tatum, Hill and DeVine respectively). They also introduce Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, voiced by Rosario Dawson. She keeps Bruce Wayne levelled and stops him from getting to big for his boots. She become the moral compass for the story, but at no point feels naggy or dull.

The Lego Batman Movie relies on some brilliantly selected music to set the mood, and keep up the energy. Each song as catchy as the last, but luckily none as annoying as 'Everything is Awesome'. As well as the fun soundtrack, the visuals are equally as mesmerising, with sight gags, detailed animation and fast-paced action sequences capturing every child's (and adult's) imagination.

The Lego Batman Movie doesn't necessarily rely on a strong plot line, but that doesn't mean that it rests on its laurels, and in fact it does a lot to make up for DC's recent shortcomings. Some may feel that Batman has most definitely had too much time on the big screen for a while, but The Lego Batman Movie shows that maybe that is not the case; and actually does better with it's source material than last years 'Batman Vs Superman' did...

Director Chris Mckay has a fair amount of experience with animation, especially animation with a spoofing comedic style, so really he was ideal for the job. He also helped oversee the animation for The Lego Movie, so has more than enough experience for this film, and that shows. The film is slick, funny and brilliantly made; and without a doubt it is one of the best animations in recent years.   

The Lego Batman Movie - Trailer