Following on from the surprisingly excellent Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie is a spin off of that original film, maintaining the same charm, humour and excellent storytelling that made the original such a great watch. It’s also arguably the best Batman movie ever next to The Dark Knight.
The film follows the lone vigilante Batman (Will Arnett) as he takes on a multitude of villains from his own rich comic book history including, of course, Joker. As Batman continues to work alone, refusing to acknowledge his own responsibilities including adopting an orphan, the villains band together and hatch a plan, forcing Batman to make a choice – go it alone or accept the help from his friends.
I won’t give too much away plot-wise but the story is well written and satisfies from start to finish. Although it never has the same charm as The Lego Movie, Lego Batman is rife with silly jokes, gags and even secret adult jokes making this an animation title that adults and children will both love equally. I particularly enjoyed the homage to the original films in the series and a few jokes directed toward Suicide Squad were nicely implemented without feeling forced. There are enough jokes and surprises here within the 104 minute run time that justify Lego Batman’s existence. It never feels like it drags and the
There are times where the jokes go on a little too long or don’t quite hit – the scenes showing Batman alone in the Bat mansion definitely outstays its welcome long before it ends and the relationship/hero-villain dynamic between Joker and Batman is run into the ground by the end of the film with the same gag “I like to fight around, I’m not looking for a serious rivalry right now” etc. all cleverly delivered the first time but not so much the second and third times they show up in the film.
These are minor points though that really don’t detract from the spectacle of Lego Batman that pulls out all the stops to make this more epic than The Lego Movie and in terms of action it absolutely does. Again, no spoilers, but there are some brilliant references to other franchises here and a few jokes in particular had me laughing out loud in the theatre.
Overall, The Lego Batman Movie is a worthy spin off and a decent Batman film in its own right with a slew of jokes for both adults and children and a feel-good message about accepting help from others. Some of the jokes do feel like they go on a little too long and it never holds the same heart and likeability generated from Emmett in The Lego Movie but Will Arnett’s gruff Batman is enough to hold its own.