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The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

February 14, 2017

Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis
Director: Chris McKay

Bottom Line: The LEGO Batman Movie is a fun spin-off from the surprisingly touching and brilliant The LEGO Movie of 2014. This film takes Will Arnett’s Batman and plants him firmly in Gotham City, where the Caped Crusader is a celebrated vigilante that basks in his glory while in the limelight but returns to his lonely cave beneath Wayne manor where his loyal butler Alfred and The BatComputer are his only true friends in the world.

Most of the plot in this movie revolves around Batman’s longstanding rivalry with The Joker and how he downplays that relationship and makes The Joker feel unimportant, so Joker tries to unravel a scheme that will prove he is, in fact, Batman’s greatest rival.

The LEGO Batman Movie is definitely nonstop fun and will have most people laughing throughout its entire running time, but it’s not nearly as emotionally captivating as The LEGO Movie was, and probably not as funny either.

Still, it’s not going to disappoint true BatFans. There are plenty of callbacks to Batman’s previous film appearances and his rogues gallery is as well represented as it can possibly be, with all his most prominent enemies (and some totally obscure ones) getting a moment or two in the spotlight.

Will Arnett and Michael Cera are perfect casting as Batman and Robin, giving hysterical vocal performances. The rest of the cast is pretty good too, with one exception, and it’s a pretty critical one: Zach Galifianakis made for a surprisingly subdued and boring Joker. There were moments where I thought I liked the direction he was taking things, but ultimately, I found myself a little disappointed with how straight forward his portrayal was – this Joker is lacking in energy and flair.

As a huge Batman fan and a big fan of The Lego Movie, I had hefty expectations for this movie and it didn’t really disappoint. It’s definitely 90 minutes of fun, but it’s missing that extra layer of depth that turns a merely good movie into a special one. Still, The LEGO Batman Movie is a worthy spin-off and should make for a fun time for all ages.

Replay Value: Most things Batman are a must own for me.
Sequel Potential: The Lego Movie sequel is scheduled for 2019 and would likely feature Batman again. This movie made over $50 million its first weekend and should have some decent legs, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it gets its own sequel.
Oscar Potential: A Best Animated Feature contender only and it’s far too early to know how competitive that category will be.

Grade: 6.5/10 (recommended/highly enjoyable)

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