When Warner Bros announced that it was making The Lego Movie, the whole thing sounded a bit like a ploy to get people to pay to see a 100-minute-long advert for Lego. Upon the film’s release it was immediately clear that that wasn’t the case at all. The more cynical among us probably presumed The Lego Batman Movie would be a 104-minute advert for the upcoming DCEU, but they couldn’t have been more wrong either.
Instead of attempting to capitalise off a film’s success to sell more Lego, Warner Bros seems to be using the already immensely successful Lego brand as an excuse to make movies as stupid and ridiculously entertaining as possible. That’s what The Lego Batman Movie is; it’s simultaneously dumb, razor sharp, hilarious and utterly charming. It rips the whole concept of Batman to shreds while somehow making you love the Caped Crusader even more.
Like with The Lego Movie, the voice cast for The Lego Batman Movie is pretty much perfect. Will Arnett’s grumble as Batman continues to be hysterical, while new voices like Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth fit into the bizarre world of Lego Gotham beautifully.
If we were to list all the new characters you’d no doubt stop reading there are that many – the film really packs them in – but it never feels like they’ve been included for the sake of including them (or for the sake of making the most of having the rights to everything). The film has gone back decades to seek out the weirdest, most obscure Batman characters, and the jokes that follow are definitely worth it.
The animation continues to be stunning, albeit a bit of a mind stamp at times when you can’t tell if what you’re looking at is actual Lego bricks or not. The story, perhaps, isn’t as layered as The Lego Movie but it really doesn’t matter, not when something is as laugh-a-minute as this. And it really laugh-a-minute, out loud and everything. The whole thing is a perfect antidote the steely, sombre superheroes we’re seeing more and more often.