REVIEW: ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Is A Hilarious Take On The Dark Knight’s Recent Edgy Trend

He has the suit, the gadgets and the raspy voice. By all means, this is a “Batman” movie, but it’s certainly a lot more comical than its counterparts.

“The LEGO Batman Movie” starts off showing another average night in Gotham City, with a whole group of famous and not so famous villains launching an assault. Per usual, Batman (Will Arnett) comes in to put a stop to them, but in the process of doing so, things start to change. More specifically, hints of Batman’s lonely life begin to come in to play.

As the movie goes on, the film (in humorous ways) explores Batman’s tendencies to do things on his own rather than accept help from anyone else. This becomes more complicated, though, with the arrival of new Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) and Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera).

In the last decade there have been some critically acclaimed, award winning work related to Batman. The perfect example is 2008’s “The Dark Knight.” However, the character has had some moments that are also ripe for ridicule, too.

To its tremendous credit, this LEGO feature takes all of the comedic opportunities from Batman’s decades-long history and takes it to the house. Without a doubt, “The LEGO Batman Movie” is one of the funniest flicks in several months.

The jokes and gags based around references to past properties come quick, continuously and never stop from beginning to end. Everything is in the comedic cross-hairs here, from the recent edginess of Batman seen in last year’s “Dawn of Justice” to the more camp-filled features such as “Batman and Robin.”

The fact that this is more or less a parody flick, though, does lead to a core flaw with the film. Basically, when the movie does try to have some ‘teachable moments’ and deliver a message about family, it doesn’t stick as well since so much of the picture is played for humor.

Because of this, those who’re less aware of the Dark Knight’s lore may be victims of the references going over their heads and with that in mind the movie becomes a bit lacking.

Even with that issue, though, the animation here is enough to keep a person visually entertained. Like the original “LEGO Movie,” this one has top notch animation combined with the rather quirky movements of the LEGO characters and setting. The combination results in a movie that’s good eye-candy.

Credit also has to go toward the cast. Will Arnett nails the edgy, grim voice Batman has while Cera recreates the naïve Robin of the 1960s-era. Zach Galifinakis is also great as the Joker.

To put it simply, if you’re a Batman fan who’s kept up with the comics, movies or both, this is a must see flick. For audiences a bit less associated, though, some of the comedy may not land and the character arc displayed isn’t all that deep, so a matinee is probably a better option. 3.5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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