LEGO Batman – Review

WILL Arnett makes his second outing as Batman, albeit in LEGO form, in this enjoyable yet regrettably forgettable ‘sequel’ to 2014’s The LEGO Movie. 

This pseudo-sequel to the critically acclaimed LEGO movie is all about Arnett’s Batman and his relationship with his arch-nemesis and more importantly, with his friends. The film makes for fun viewing but unfortunately without ever being as entertaining, funny or as smart as its predecessor.

The film begins promisingly as a satire of the Dark Knight with some hilariously niche jokes for Batman aficionados. It’s a comedy roast of the beloved vigilante. But here’s my first problem with this film – it’s quite a shallow parody. And by that I mean, it doesn’t take every element of Batman and satire it – it looks at one element in particular, that Batman is a loner and all he really wants is a family, and mercilessly beats it into the ground.

The joke is so overplayed, that it just gets boring and a tad grating. 

The jokes don’t go deep into the lore of Batman, it doesn’t explore the character which has over 75 years of history to play on. It feels like a missed opportunity. I’ve seen people facetiously say that this is one of the best Batman films we’ve ever had. Hell, The Guardian wrote a piece about how this is the only relevant Batman incarnation out there and that Batfleck should move over. It’s not. It’s not even a Batman film. 

P.S I think Chris Nolan will have a thing or two to say about that. 

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The film really suffers as it enters the second act. The jokes have got old and the plot becomes so generic and tedious. It’s a paint by numbers animated kids film. Which is a shame. It was always going to be difficult to live up to The LEGO Movie but for me, LEGO Batman doesn’t come close.

Will Arnett’s voice performance is good and has plenty of funny moments and the rest of the voice cast is strong too. Rosario Dawson is great as Barbara Gordon (definitely not Batgirl), a more progressive version of the character, which was perhaps a shot at last year’s The Killing JokeMichael Cera is as annoying as you’d expect as Robin, who is hilariously accidentally adopted by Batman. There’s some nice character moments in there but unlike in The LEGO movie, I didn’t really feel like any of them were characters in their own right. They’re just caricatures and therefore some of the emotional beats fell a bit flat for me. This doesn’t make any of the one-liners less funny, that being said. 

There are some great gags in there but they’re buried under a lot of not-so-good gags, that I can’t help but feel this film would have benefited from some quality control. It’s a joke a second and when not all of them land, it becomes a bit annoying. This all being said, I’m sure plenty of kids and adults will find enough enjoyment in this. Just don’t expect the clever Batman satire the critics have been raving about. 

★★★☆☆

AVERAGE. Some great moments buried under generic tedium. 

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