After being a bright spot in The Lego Movie, it was no shock that Batman would be getting his own Lego movie. Whereras that movie had a meta story where the Legos served as an exploration of creativity vs. order, this is more of a straight up Batman story. While it is subtly implied that this is once again the imagination of a young child, it does not serve any major plot significance. Here we have a story about the self inflicted loneliness of Batman and how it affects his relationships with others.
The movie begins with Batman once again saving the day from The Joker and the rest of his rogues gallery. After denying Joker of the satisfaction of admitting their status as greatest enemies, we see Batman return home to a big empty house where his only companion is his computer. Batman’s isolation is so bad that he doesn’t even remove his cowl while being out of uniform. After falling for the new Commissioner Barbara Gordon and half heartedly adopting Dick Grayson, The Joker turns himself and the rest of the villains in leaving Batman with nothing to do.
This is probably the first Batman movie to really delve into his psychological issues. In fact this movie actually puts a light on one of the biggest issues with Batman: he doesn’t really solve crime as much as he beats up on poor and mentally disturbed people. This is reflected when the criminals willingly lock themselves up and it is shown that he has no purpose in life and will go to selfish lengths to once again feel useful.
The voice cast is top notch here. Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman from The Lego Movie. We see different sides of him in this movie and see Arnett flex his voice acting skills. Michael Cera as Dick Grayson/Robin steals the show with his energetic and optimistic, with a hint of loneliness, performance. Ralph Fiennes does his thing as Alfred as well as Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon. Zach Galifianakis as The Joker brings a strange vulnerability to the character.
You don’t really come to a Lego movie for the animation since these are supposed to be toys. But there are highlights especially when things go absolutely crazy on screen. But there are great subtle animations here and there to perfectly convey emotions. Since this is a Lego movie, always keep one eye on the background as you can guarantee something will be going on.
As much as The Lego Batman Movie is a satirical poke at the ridiculous elements of Batman, it is also a celebration. From the most obscure villains to admitting that almost everything in the 80 years in Batman mythos is canon, more or less. This is arguably the best Batman movie since 2008’s The Dark Knight. The only thing that really that bugged me about the movie is all the rapping that Batman does throughout.