Batman has been through the ringer. He has had a countless amount of conceptions from the weird and the whacky to the brooding and emotional; bad films to great films; awful films to genius films. Batman has had some black days and sometimes, really dark grey days.
Our love for the caped crusader knows no bounds. Despite some pretty pants products and countless amounts of cartoons, movies, and comics, we still flock to him with our wings open wide because we love him so much.
The LEGO Batman Movie, however, is pretty much the only Batman movie that counts.
Based on the brick conception of the character in The LEGO Movie, the film revolves around Bruce Wayne who, by night, is a secret vigilante helped by his long-suffering butler Alfred. However, the Bat has always been afraid of becoming a family and letting people into his extremely lonely world. When he adopts an orphan, he enlists the boy to become his sidekick, Robin, and together, they must thwart the illusive and evil Joker. Can he learn to love again?
Will Arnett was born to put on the Batsuit. Whilst, sadly, that isn’t literal, his embodiment of The Dark Knight is one of the best yet. Growling under the cowl, Arnett brings the gruff exterior of Batman but also a hidden sentimentality. Arnett has always been a stellar, deeply-voiced, comedic actor and with Batman, he is clearly having the best time portraying the brooding hero. Alongside him, the voice work of Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Cera, and Zack Galifianakis brings a humorous element of fun and frivolity whilst also possessing these famed characters.
The humour is spot on in The LEGO Batman Movie. For those who enjoyed its predecessor, you can expect much of the same: Highly frantic, fourth-wall breaking, silly yet clever jokes that come thick and fast with the colourful characters. Taking swipes at Batman is easy but LEGO Batman does it in such a gleeful manner that you can’t help but fall in love with the humour. Admittedly, the intellectual jokes and swipes at the Batman series is going to appeal to a more adult crowd, flying over the heads of tiny little ones, but sometimes, curtailing to a grown-up audience isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The biggest problem is actually a minute one, comparatively to how epic and awesome it is. Comparatively to The LEGO Movie, Batman has a lack of pace that keeps you invested in the film at every second. When it attempts to change the tone from a frolicking one to an emotional one, it hits a stop in pace. It doesn’t take long for the film to regain its energy but the pause is noticeable.
But, added to a killer soundtrack and action sequences that are pretty darn stellar, Chris McKay has done a fine job at conceptualising Batman as a brick hero. Now, altogether, “everything is Batman!!!!”