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Director: Chris McKay
Release date:
January 29, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

After the successful and surprisingly intelligent ‘The Lego Movie’ it was only natural for Warner Bros. to make another Lego themed movie. This time they took the character of Batman, who also co-stars ‘The Lego Movie’ and made the dark knight the star of a very funny sequel.

Compared to ‘The Lego Movie’, ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is less deep and less layered, and the film wears its family theme on its sleeve, but like ‘The Lego Movie’ this sequel is really, really funny. The film makers play with all the batman tropes, and never take the superhero too seriously. In that respect, the film immediately starts off greatly, with Batman himself commenting on the opening titles. Another hilarious scene arrives a little bit later when we watch Batman waiting for the microwave.

Batman is a superhero, but pretty much a loser, as well. In fact, during most of the film, Batman is an ass, more of a self-centered, egotistic obligate loner than the usual tormented superhero. The Joker, too, is not just a supervillain, but one who longs for a special love-hate relationship with his foe. The film also introduces Robin and kickass female character Barbara Gordon (who’ll later turn into Batgirl). Part of the success of all these characters and how they are presented lies in the great voice acting. Especially, Will Arnett is a treat as the over-serious, pompous, self-important gravelling voice of Batman himself. Zach Galifianakis is a surprisingly emotional Joker, while Michael Cera shines as the overenthusiastic, geeky Robin. Rosario Dawson gives us a strong Barbara Gordon, and Ralph Fiennes a worthy Alfred, Batman’s butler.

Apart from the family theme, the plot revolves around the Joker letting all supervillains free from the Phantom Zone (a prison inside another dimension, borrowed from the Superman world). Because the film makers could browse the complete Warner Bros. catalogue, the villains include King Kong, the Wicked Witch from the West, Sauron, Voldemort, the Gremlins, the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, Agent Smith from ‘The Matrix’, and the Dalek from Dr. Who. Like Batman none of these villains are treated with respect. For example, the Dalek are introduced as “British Robots! (ask your nerd friends)”.

Being a Lego movie, the character animation is pretty jumpy, while some of the special effects are done in Lego, too (flames, lava). But both the world building, the textures, the lighting and camera movements are top notch, and together with Lorne Balfe’s epic score contribute to the action part of the movie. The result is a deft combination of exciting adrenaline-rich action and plain silliness. In any case, the film moves at a reckless speed, pouring gags over the audience almost non-stop, while retaining the family theme at heart. Even if it’s not as good as ‘The Lego Movie’ was, this is a fun film all the way. In fact, I prefer ‘The Lego Batman’ over the all too dark and serious recent Batman movies any time.

Watch the trailer for the ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is available on Blu-Ray and DVD

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