‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Review – The Kitchen Sink Approach Works!

Nick Nunziata
Batman Movies
Batman Movies
4.0
of 5
Review Essentials
  • A breakneck pace that begs for repeat viewings
  • Appeals to fans and critics of the Batman films
  • Cameos both mainstream and obscure
  • Great voice work from all involved
  • Could wear out its welcome with the steady barrage of jokes

What is The LEGO Batman Movie?

The LEGO Movie was a huge hit on its own but it also showcased a version of Batman that deserved his own movie. Will Arnett and the filmmakers tapped into something special. It’s rare that a character can have a feature film that not only uses the assets of that character but also can satirize its history at the same time. The Lego Batman Movie is a rocket-paced barrage of jokes, riffs, and winks at the audience. It takes really one joke – that Batman is such a loner that he’s an awful person to be around –  and goes crazy with it.

Packed to the seams with pretty much the majority of DC’s Universe as well as a terrific assortment of cameos, the movie tells the story of how Batman and his arch rival The Joker‘s relationship is really all they have going. They complete one another. Bruce Wayne’s costumed persona can’t get out of his own ego’s way to do the right thing and be an actual hero. It also focuses heavily on Wayne’s need for a family around him.

Oh, and everyone’s a LEGO so not only is the film funny, it’s adorable.

Is The LEGO Batman Movie Good?

It will be hard to find a movie as confident in its breakneck speed and laugh to groan ratio than this one. Director Chris McKay and head writer Seth Grahame-Smith not only know their leading character, they know the ins and outs about the conversation about him. Every bad costume, creative misstep, or victory for Batman is fodder for their joke machine. The nuances of his relationships and the outlandish aspects of his mythology comprise the bulk of the jokes but as was the case with The LEGO Movie there’s a lot of heart as well.

Possibly the funniest moment in the film.

It’s also very easy to get caught up in the speed of everything to overlook what a work of art The Batman LEGO Movie is. The limitations of the LEGO designs and inherent simplicity become virtues here. The film looks fantastic and the visual storytelling is cutting-edge. It’s very easy to forget just how deeply the field of animation is evolving. To be able to communicate spectacle alongside extremely acute jokes with this toolset is no easy task. Like all the best films aimed at younger audiences, the movie is never dumb. It never insults the intelligence of its audience, including the parents who paid for the ticket. If anything, the film’s only real weakness is sensory overload. Because it never really shows down it can wear out its welcome at times. But, the moments of joy are too many to mention here and better left as a surprise. It’s a wonderful and hilariously referential romp that takes all we love and hate about Batman and make it charming as hell. It may actually be better than the first LEGO movie, which is saying something.

Nick Nunziata
Nick Nunziata created CHUD.com.
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