Producers:Dan LinPhil LordChristopher MillerRoy LeeWriters:Seth Grahame-SmithChris McKennaErik SommersJared SternJohn WhittingtonStory By:Seth Grahame-SmithStarring:Will ArnettZach GalifinakisMichael CeraRosario DawsonRalph FiennesMusic By:Lorne BalfeEditor:David BurrowsMatt Villa John Venzon
In 2014, The Lego Movie pleasantly surprised many with it’s heartwarming message and humorous script, and now, just three years later, comes The Lego Batman Movie. Directed by Chris McKay, The Lego Batman Movie serves as a spin-off to its predecessor and once again features Will Arnett as the titular “Batman.” As I just mentioned, The Lego Movie was extremely sentimental and quite funny, but does that mean that the second installment in the ever-expanding Lego franchise is? The short answer is yes.
Not being bound to the plot featured in The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie finds Batman trying to overcome his greatest fear to stop his self-appointed arch-nemesis, The Joker (Zach Galifinakis). Along for the adventure is Batman’s adopted son Dick Grayson/Robin (Michael Cera), his faithful butler Alfred (Ralph Fiennes), and new colleague Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (Rosario Dawson).
Often times spin-off films that star a secondary character whose fun in small doses are disastrous, but luckily, this is not the case with The Lego Batman Movie. Will Arnett is able to carry more than his own weight in this film, demonstrating far more depth and characterization for the character than what was presented in the previous installment. In this film, Batman’s biggest fear is having a family, after losing his previous one, and Will Arnett perfectly portrays a character that is in denial of this, with plenty of warmth and humor to boot.
Michael Cera is a welcome addition as Robin, who many that watched the Adam West television show will remember as being a tad nonthreatening, and Cera’s awkward vocal performance further develops the character’s meek nature. Rosario Dawson’s Barbara Gordon is a great role model for all young women out there and promotes strong female leadership that is thankfully becoming more and more common in cinema.
Zach Galifinakis’ Joker is portrayed quite differently than other versions of the character. As the target audience for this film is younger, this Joker is far less sinister and instead, is featured in an emotionally neglectful relationship with Batman, where the “Clown Prince of Crime” is desperately seeking Batman’s recognition as his archenemy. This is often played for laughs, but it also is extremely sweet.
Just as with its predecessor there are plenty of Easter eggs and fun characters to enjoy, only this time, they are all DC-centered, with the exception of a few minor villains near the end of the film. These minor villains are Easter eggs all on there own that include Voldemort, King Kong, and the Daleks. All of this manages to scatter the film with plenty of geek culture that I enjoyed immensely, and I’m sure that fellow comic-book readers will too.
Much like its predecessor, there is plenty of things for adults to like to, such as the humor, the callbacks to previous media, and of course the incredibly sweet premise and undertones throughout. Many children will love this film simply because it’s bright and loud, but in time, they will learn to appreciate it for even more. With great Easter eggs, funny moments, and a thoughtful premise, The Lego Batman Movie is a great followup to its 2014 predecessor.