The Lego Batman Movie, now playing in theaters, may not be as great as its predecessor, but it’s still a hysterical tribute to Batman, filled with great voice work and gorgeous animation.
2014’s The Lego Movie was the rarest of cinematic feats; essentially a laugh-out-loud hilarious and genuinely touching feature-length toy commercial. Besides being an absolutely wonderful film, it also left the door open for endless sequels and spin-offs, and the first has finally been released in the form of The Lego Batman Movie.
Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) lives a seemingly perfect life of saving Gotham City from villains like the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), being adored by Gotham’s citizens, and writing heavy metal songs about himself. Yet beneath the facade, Batman lives a lonely life due to his insistence on working alone and his fear of having a family.
Batman’s life changes when the new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), demands he joins forces with the Gotham police force to end crime. Also throwing off his groove is the young orphan boy, Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), Batman accidentally adopts. To make it all worse, the Joker has a new plan up his sleeve to defeat Batman once and for all.
Like the original Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie is brilliantly irreverent and often side-splittingly funny. The voice casting is phenomenal, and each actor makes their character their own. However, there are stretches in the middle that lose steam and aren’t as funny, a problem the original never had.
For animation fans, Lego Batman is also a feast for the eyes. The plastic characters and environments look real, as if you could reach out and play with them yourself. The film is also packed with great background gags and Easter eggs.
Ultimately, The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t have as many laughs or as much heart as the original Lego Movie, but it still has enough to be a satisfying follow-up. And high expectations aside, it’s still likely the funniest superhero movie you’ll ever see and a must-see for fans of Batman, Legos, or good comedies.