The Batman mythos has gotten more than a little self-serious over the past couple of decades. You could argue the time for the Caped Crusader to lighten up a little is long overdue.
Enter “The LEGO Batman Movie” to inject a little levity into the world of the Dark Knight and bring along the pop-culture mashup sensibility that made “The LEGO Movie” so much fun.
Batman, as voiced by Will Arnett, is portrayed as a macho, self-involved loner. He is beloved by Gotham City for his uncanny ability to save the day, but when he comes back to the Batcave he finds himself alone, save for his faithful butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes).
The status quo is upset when the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) unites all of the villains of Gotham City in a ploy to attack Batman where he is the most vulnerable, his ego.
Coming to Batman’s aid, whether he likes it or not, is Gotham City’s new police commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) and Batman/BruceWayne’s over-eager, adopted son Dick Grayson (Michael Cera).
The life lesson here is working together is much better than going it alone, but while we may know exactly where we are going, “The LEGO Batman Movie” has a whole lot of fun getting us there.
By capturing the joyful spirit of the first “LEGO Movie,” this film is packed to the gills with jokes and pop-culture references flying around in rapid-fire succession. No iteration of Batman is safe from lampooning, from the 1960s Adam West Batman (shark repellent!) all the way through Ben Affleck’s most recent take (“Superman can’t be your greatest enemy, he’s a good guy!”). Let’s be honest, there’s a lot in there to make fun of.
There’s also a lot of LEGO fun to be had here as well, as Batman is a Master Builder who can pull bricks from all around his environment to create all manner of bat-related vehicles. Another fun touch is all of the low-rent, vocal sound effects, like “pew, pew, pew” for laser blasts.
Even though this movie doesn’t have quite the same out-of-the-box creativity or emotional impact that made “The LEGO Movie” a surprise hit, it does boast enough of its predecessor’s pedigree to make it an above-average family film.
“The LEGO Batman Movie” delivers by letting a little light shine into the dark, dark world of the Dark Knight and lets the man in the cowl enjoy a few jokes at his own expense.
“The LEGO Batman Movie” is rated PG for rude humor and some action.