In the midst of the recent string of all too gritty, all too dark, all too real DC Comics movies, The Lego Batman Movie is a breath of fresh air. Since The Dark Knight came out in 2008, there has been a steady decline in how the world’s best detective has been portrayed on the big screen.
In the past five to ten years DC Comics has been somewhat of the darker, edgier little brother of Marvel Comics when it comes to movies. DC movies have not really captured the same mixture between superhero action and comic book comedy that Marvel has perfected. A lot of recent DC movies have been more dark, more dramatic, more real than their competitor’s. The Lego Batman Movie is the exact opposite of that, and while it is more of a children’s movie than a normal superhero film, it is still outstanding.
Batman fans and haters alike can enjoy this movie. For hardcore Batman fans, the whole cast of characters from the comics are there, including a few characters only the most hardcore of fans will recognize. There are a ton of small references to Batman lore and story, too many to pick up on them all in just one viewing. For people that have been turned from seeing the world’s greatest detective on the big screen in the past, the movie almost feels like a parody of the Batman movies of the past. Batman is a little too edgy, the Joker a little too crazy, and Gotham a little too crime-ridden.
The Lego Batman Movie is one of those films that does not take itself so seriously that it cannot be fun, while also taking itself seriously just enough to put out a compelling story that will keep the audience engaged. The story, characters and actors’ performances are all spectacular and, when coupled with both the familiar Batman cast and the quirky nature of the original Lego Movie, a film far and away better than any recent live-action DC Comics movies was made.
The movie takes small shots at other DC movies through the entire thing and it is again the perfect mix between not too much and just enough. Lego Batman makes small jokes about DC that only the DC veterans in the audience will pick up on, like Bane’s voice or a couple quips about the Suicide Squad movie that came out last year. There are little jokes hidden throughout the movie, but the ones that DC aims at themselves are some of the funniest. It was refreshing to see a company like DC who has struggled with poor receptions from both fans in critics in recent years, prove that they are self-aware enough to laugh at themselves a little bit.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Will Arnet as the voice of Batman. Arnet takes playing Batman to the next level, taking the performance to the next level where his parody of the “Batman voice” becomes the best Batman voice yet. Michael Cera as Robin, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred and Zach Galifanakis as Joker all act out of their minds, really bringing their character to life and making this one of the most enjoyable animated movie experiences maybe ever.
When watching this movie you can tell there was one thought on everyone’s mind when they were making it, “let’s have fun.” The entire movie is a riot, every scene being more ridiculous and more entertaining than the last. And because this is a movie made for kids, Batman learns a cheesy little lesson about himself in the end that kids can take away. Long story short: go see this movie. If you are a Batman fan, go see this movie. If you hate Batman, go see this movie. If you hate movies, go see this movie. You will enjoy yourself no matter what. It is that good.