In 2016 we saw Batman twice in theaters and for most of us, we left those two encounters less than enthusiastic. With Warner Bros. flailing wildly in need of a hit, in steps some tiny plastic toys to save the day. Even with as good as The LEGO Batman Movie is, it also amplifies how inept Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were at the most fundamental level–being entertaining. In a way, the latest in the Batman universe acts as a sincere apology for the aforementioned disappointments.
To be fair The LEGO Batman Movie has the benefit of irreverent humor that leans heavily in meta territory. The film exists in a world where Gotham City and its citizens are kind of tired of Batman’s shenanigans. Years of fighting bad guys and yet crime rates are as high as ever. Even Batman’s greatest enemy, Joker, has decided that he must concoct a new scheme to get the Caped Crusader in touch with his emotions. With the help of a recently adopted orphan, Dick Grayson, and the city’s new commissioner, Barbara Gordon, Batman embarks on a mission to save his tarnished reputation and the city.
You’ll notice that there was no reference to the voice actors playing each part, which is by design. Going in unaware of the talent lending their often unrecognizable voices is actually part of the fun. Some with be instantly recognizable, while others might be more of a pleasant surprise. In the end, it’s not all about the voice talent, so much as the comedic timing and vibrant animation that drives the action.
Just like The LEGO Movie jokes come at you fast and furious, making repeat viewings not just rewarding, but encouraged if not required. Kids and adults alike will get more than their money’s worth from family friendly chuckles to more maturely crafted winks. Together the humor crafts a uniquely joyous experience that’s complete with some truly dazzling animation techniques that’s bursting with creativity.
If you don’t walk out of The LEGO Batman Movie jonesin’ for more LEGO themed adventures there’s hesitation to say you might be dead inside…but you might be dead inside. The heartfelt themes, incredible energy and self referential humor is a refreshing perspective on the superhero genre–especially DC’s increasingly dour cinematic catalogue. The LEGO Batman Movie isn’t just the hilarious and heartfelt plastic hero we deserve, it’s also the one we need.