Batman is probably the most loved fictional character there is. We are a culture obsessed with the caped crusader, proved by the vast amounts of films, series and comic books devoted to the character. It was no surprise that he stole the show in 2014’s ‘The Lego Movie’ and as a result spawned his very own spin off. Could Will Arnett’s incarnation of the Bat be just what the character needed after his latest few more troubled outings at the big screen?
The narrative for ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ gets it right where ‘Suicide Squad’ got things wrong. Here we see Batman pitted against his arch nemesis, The Joker. He is the main villain for the film and the playful parody of romantic comedy relationships through focusing on the hero/villain relationship works well. We all know that Batman has a fantastic array of villains and I’m sure we’ll all have our favourites. You’ll no doubt see your favourite here as I think nearly every Batman villain in existence features, even the more ridiculous ones from the comic books. Their inclusion made for a funny gag, but I thought after this they hung around a little too much taking the limelight from the more well known and loved Bat bad guys. Another narrative move sidelines these villains even further which I thought was a real shame and was probably my biggest grip with the film. As well as this the film is rather sentimental in parts. I didn’t mind this right at the end of the film, I actually loved the message presented there. However the inclusion of this throughout the film did slightly halt the pace. Aside from these flaws the narrative still succeeds thanks to it’s comedy. Whether it was the hilirious opening number entitled, ‘Who’s the (Bat)man’, banter with Superman or just the original gags included you’re not left too long without a laugh.
Another form of comedy was the brilliant fan service that the movie gives it’s audiences. Young & old fans alike will rejoice as they watch references galore to various different parts of the canon of the Dark Knight. The film really felt like a celebration of all things Batman, clearly made by fans for fans (maybe even more so than for the kids!). Will Arnett returns to voice Bruce Wayne and his alter ego for a second time and has already cemented himself as one of the best incarnations of Bats. His comedic talents lend themselves well to this more light-hearted version of Batman and he leads the cast confidentially. The rest of the main cast is made up of Micheal Cera (Robin), Zach Galifianakis (The Joker), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon) & Ralph Fiennes (Alfred). All of them suit their characters very well and offer a lot of comedy, and heart to the overall film. Other recognisable voices such as Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill & Adam DeVine pop up every so often, so be prepared to play ‘whose voice is that?’ as you watch. With such famous names playing such loved characters it’s easier to forget the more technical achievements of the film. The animation is still so impressive and massive credit is due for making something like this so watchable. One of the highlights of the animation is actually the opening sequence in which we see a plane fly through the clouds over Gotham City, somehow the Lego style animation manages to look awesome and incredibly aesthetically pleasing.
Fans of Batman will appreciate so much in this film and there is plenty of humour for newcomers to this character too. Narrative niggles and over sentimentality aside the film is everything you could want from a Batman comedy. Impressive animation and a talented voice cast complete the foundations of this mighty build which will no doubt be many fans favourite Batman movie in years!
Rating – 7/10
Question: Which actor has given your favourite portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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