Review: “Lego Batman”

The movie we needed, and deserved

“Lego Batman” is the movie we deserve, and the one we needed. After years of dark Batman movies, “Lego Batman” is a humorous and sometimes absurd treat for longtime fans and first-timers that will have you leaning forward in your seat, longing for the next scene.

It takes everything you could have ever wanted in a Batman film, and then adds on extras. Lesser known Batman villains? Check. Batgirl and Robin? Check. Dastardly plot that would end the world as we know it? Check. Oh and, constant jabs at Superman? Check. It’s all there.

It’s able to balance Batman’s lack of social skills and perceived self-importance into a character we feel sympathy for.

Directed by Chris McKay, the film is a spin-off of the well received “The Lego Movie,” featuring the same voice actor for Batman, Will Arnett.

On the surface it looks like a traditional Batman animated film for kids that was Lego-ified, but it’s much more. The film makes itself accessible to newcomers who aren’t familiar with the extended Batman Family like The Riddler, Poison Ivy, and even the Condiment King.

The Joker sets up his character by explaining his relationship with the Batman for those not yet familiar with the jester, while Alfred adds in backstory of Bruce Wayne’s childhood.

The plot focuses on relationships and family – setting itself apart from The Dark Knight trilogy that eschewed family and focused on saving the city.

The only disappointment was the lack of creative Lego use. “The Lego Movie” utilized Lego building in creative ways integral to the plot. However until the very end in “Lego Batman,” there were probably three or four scenes that depended upon the use of Legos, with none of them being crucial to the progression of the story.

It did not detract from the film though, as “Lego Batman” made up in other ways. The use of music from the ‘70s and ‘80s gave it nostalgic feeling, similar to the “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as well as included a snippet of everyone’s favorite pop song: “Everything Is Awesome!”

For the hardcore DC Comics fans, there’s references to just about every Batman movie, the rest of the Justice League, and even rival Marvel hero Iron Man.

“Lego Batman” espouses the value of Legos – just as you can play Legos with anyone and everyone and have a great time, this film is exactly the same. Take a friend or your entire family, it’ll be two hours well spent.