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The Lego Batman Movie – Review

The Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie

 

When the first Lego Movie flashed onto our cinema screens in 2014, it would’ve been easy to dismiss it as an empty, brand heavy cash in. But it proved to be a pleasant surprise. It was a lively, creative and infectious movie that has since blossomed into a firm favourite of children and big children alike.

 

Of the film’s much loved characters, the most beloved was arguably a character that we’ve all become firmly acquainted with over the last few decades: the moody, isolated superhero known as Batman. Voiced by Will Arnett, the Lego Batman turned all of the iconic comic book hero’s traits up to eleven. He was an overwhelmingly cocky, deluded narcissist. It was a great take on the classic character which was embraced by the viewing public.

 

It’s no surprise then that he was given his own Lego outing, and even though Lego Batman hasn’t been directed by the original film’s helmsmen, Lord and Miller, it is every bit as funny, energetic and lovable as the first movie.

 

Batman’s origins and surrounding lore are so deep and embedded in popular culture that the

filmmakers clearly had tons of material to draw from, and they take advantage of it brilliantly.

Batman’s vast rogues gallery, his complex personal relationships, and his emotive origin arc, are all effectively touched on within the film’s narrative. The story also dips into greater pop culture waters later in the movie, but we won’t spoil that here.

 

The filmmakers assume many of the viewers know Batman’s story, and the film is peppered with references that will delight long-term fans of the series. That said, the story and animation is engaging enough that non Batfans will still find something to enjoy.

 

It also manages to juggle the responsibility of keeping the film entertaining for adults and children alike. Some filmmakers in recent years have struggled to find that balance; either crafting humour too subtle for children, or too silly for parents, but Lego Batman manages to keep both satisfied.

 

The voice acting is predictably impeccable, but the film’s visual style is its strongest merit. Images like Batman eating lobster on a boat in the Batcave, and then inexplicably breaking into a sweet lead guitar solo for no reason, or The Joker’s facial expression when he has his feelings hurt by Batman, are some of the film’s finest moments. It’s so laden with visual gags, that it would be near impossible to absorb them all in one screening.

 

So while it may not have the spark of originality that lit up the original Lego Movie, Lego Batman draws on the rich lore of Gotham’s caped crusader, to deliver a visually vivid, sugar rush of a movie.

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