Review: The LEGO Batman Movie – Abs-olutely awesome

The LEGO Batman MovieBefore 2014’s The LEGO Movie I never could have imagined that a film based on little toy bricks would be one of the best movies of that year. I mean, we’re basically talking about a two-hour commercial for a toy product, right?

That incredibly awesome study of everything pop culture blew away every negative expectation I had and still has me singing its praises, not to mention its catchy theme song; and its new sequel, The LEGO Batman Movie, is every bit as amazing – but with more of a superhero/sci-fi tinge.

In a bright yellow nutshell, when Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) isn’t fighting crime he’s a lonely and depressed soul who misses his family and has no friends except his pseudo-parent and butler, Alfred (voiced by Ralph Fiennes).

When Gotham’s new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon (voiced by Rosario Dawson), begins to steal some of the caped-crusader’s thunder, the famed vigilante finds himself and his fresh new sidekick, Robin (voiced by Michael Cera), on the wrong side of the law – even more so than usual.

Pop culture references and Easter eggs abound in this film and that is a huge part of the fun – so I’m not going to ruin it for you – but I can easily imagine sitting through this movie a dozen times or more and still not catching all of its gags.

The LEGO Batman Movie showcases the same stop-motion looking CG effects that the first movie did, with an insane amount of action, coupled with dozens of memorable lines and belly-laugh-inducing jokes. This is easily the most entertaining movie so far this year and it sets the bar high for any upcoming action-comedy.

The LEGO Batman MovieCan an animated performance be given a top acting award? If so, I nominate The LEGO Batman Movie’s Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), whose Batman break-up scene is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious.

Directed by Chris McKay (Robot Chicken), the voice talent in this film is as vast as its animated roles, which includes, maybe, thousands of characters from pop culture’s colossal catalog, including the likes of Jenny Slate (Harley Quinn), Seth Green (King Kong), Zoë Kravitz (Catwoman), Channing Tatum (Superman) and Jonah Hill (Green Lantern) – to name just a few.

(Yes, you read that right, Batman takes on King Kong in this movie! What, I ask you, could be more awesome than that?)

In addition to all of the humor and action, The LEGO Batman Movie also has a kick-butt soundtrack with old and new tunes, and a very fun message on the importance of family, friends and teamwork. So while I curse LEGO for making me love their feature length commercial, I honestly can’t wait to watch it again.
Grade: 9/10

If you attend ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ at Harkins Tempe Marketplace, be sure to check out the incredible LEGO Gotham City display by Cactus Brick.

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.