Oh Batman, is there anything you can’t do?
Star of countless comic books, movies, TV shows (mainly cartoons), lunch boxes, T-shirts, coloring books, video games and so much more. Now, he’s been shrunk down and turned to plastic for “The Lego Batman Movie.” But he’s still just as bad-ass as ever.
As voiced by Will Arnett, Batman was the break-out character of surprise hit “The Lego Movie.” So naturally Lego and DC wasted no time in putting the Dark Knight at the forefront of a film based on little plastic blocks you use to build stuff.
Lego Batman loves to narrate. In fact, he can’t wait for the movie to start before he has something to say. Arnett’s gravelly tone perfectly brings the character to life. This Batman is a bit more egotistical than other Batmen, with a sarcastic bent and sense of humor. Ah, humor — the newly forming DC movie universe could learn a lot from Lego Batman.
The film opens with Batman taking down pretty much his entire rogues gallery in one dizzying action sequence. After basking in the cheers of the crowd, Bats heads home to a life of solitude. Trusted butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) wishes his surrogate son would take a break from crime fighting and maybe settle down, but Batman will have none of that.
That night Bruce Wayne (you know who he is) attends a retirement party for Police Commissioner James Gordon (Hector Elizondo). Gordon is being replaced as top cop by his daughter Barbara (Rosario Dawson). Bruce becomes tongue-tied and googly-eyed at the sight of Barbara. In fact, he gets so distracted that he absent-mindedly agrees to adopt an earnest orphan named Richard Grayson (Michael Cera). Dick, of course, goes on to become Batman’s unwanted (at least initially) sidekick, Robin.
Meanwhile, the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) has concocted a scheme to bring together the greatest villains of all time to help him take over Gotham City. Maybe that will make Batman admit who is his true arch-enemy.
“The Lego Batman Movie” is silly fun for Batfans of all ages. The movie pays homage (or rather takes shots) to every Batman movie and bat-related character out there. There are even guest appearances by Superman and the Justice League.
The action pieces are frenetic and colorful and sometimes go on too long. The jokes come at a rapid clip as well and are for the most part successful. The most tiring aspect of “The Lego Batman Movie” is the theme that Batman Needs A Family — which is really beaten to death. But then that’s fairly common in kids’ movies. And to be fair, subtlety isn’t really one of Batman’s traits. Especially not Lego Batman.
Movie Batmen have been in grim-and-gritty mode for quite some time so it’s refreshing to see the lighter side of Batman take the stage for a change.