Release Date: February 10, 2017
Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern John Whittington, Bob Kane (created Batman), Bill Finger (created Batman)
Cast: Jenny Slate, Will Arnet, Ralph Fiennes, Zoe Kravitz, Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Jonah Hill, Hal Jordan, Jermaine Clement, Zach Galifianakis, Ellie Kemper, Michael Cera, Adam Devine, Kate Micucci, Seth Green, Jason Mantzoukas, Mariah Carey, Billy Dee Williams, Riki Lindhome, Eddie Izzard, Conan O’Brien
Production Company: Animal Logic, Animal Logic (Animation Studio), DC Entertainment, LEGO System A/S, Lin Pictures, Lord Miller, Vertigo Entertainment, Warner Animation Group, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros
Back in 2014 Warner Bros. released their first feature in the world of Lego blocks, and it was more than anyone could ask for. Tailored more for adults, it also catered to children; which was a brilliant fusion for both age groups to come together and laugh hysterically. Now they’re back with Batman, who’s arguably one of the best and most popular super heroes of all time, but in Lego form. He’s the same Dark Knight that we’ve known before, but with more comedy, sarcasm, and crudeness. The cast is top notch, the soundtrack is pulsating, and the story is relatable. The animation may be a step down from what came before, but it’s a remarkable piece of entertainment that everyone can enjoy.
I love fourth wall breaking when used properly. It’s a neat trick when you’re deeply invested in the film and the character breaks in to address the audience. Rarely is it used, but here that’s how the film opened. You can’t help but to feel happy knowing you’re in for a treat. It takes fourth wall breaking even further, melding realities together between the Lego world and live action, which makes it even more enthralling. It knows exactly what it is from start to end, and is so unapologetic about it, and it’s level of confidence reaches the sky.
Will Arnett (Batman) is the man behind the mask voicing the character. He’s as silly as can be with everyone else dishing in, giving it all they’ve got as well. The cast couldn’t be any more perfect, voicing the characters that their real-life personalities fit. It’s like their childhood dreams are coming to life, with them being able to act out their inner child inside. Imagine being paid to be a kid again in roles based on fictional characters. You can feel the passion behind their voice as they’re taking it seriously, but still shocked at the world they’re creating. It’s like the film and audience are laughing together in one big inside joke that also passes for entertainment, but actually works.
Of course the action is a ton of fun, with backflips and batarangs flying all around. With Lego’s anything can be built by plan or at random, so the possibilities of high fueled action are endless. Though what still surprises me the most is the level of emotion that’s contained as well. The dialogue is simple; but underneath, it still packs a powerful punch in regards to meaningful relationships. While the plot is full of action, adventure, and comedy, it also shines light on the meaning of family and working together. Is it corny? Yes, but corny isn’t bad; especially if it’s from the heart like it is here. I’m not saying The Lego Batman Movie will make you cry, but you will walk away appreciating it on a level you didn’t expect.
Some may disagree, but there are films that are impossible not to like, and this is one of them. Even if you walk away not saying you loved it, you’ll at least chuckle to yourself saying it’s cute. The amount of work put into this film shows. It shows not like this was a task that needed to be completed, but a passion project director Chris McKay (Robot Chicken) has been wanting to be a part of for years. Being his first feature film, he knocked it out of the park. Knowing his filmography deals mostly with sarcasm and satire, he was the right man to steer the ship. I look forward to his future as a top Hollywood director. Whether you’re young or old, The Lego Batman Movie has something for you, reaching back decades for references of all forms of pop culture.