The Lego Batman Movie positively swaggers out of the starting blocks, oozing with confidence from the get go, as it begins by breaking the fourth wall in a hilarious opening credits sequence reminiscent of Deadpool.
It's a confidence that's built on the positive reception Batman received on his appearance in the original Lego movie. And it's a confidence that is entirely deserved as the cocky wise-ass audiences loved in the first Lego movie returns to occupy the limelight he's sure he deserves.
Packed with every tool in DC's arsenal, plus a booster shot of Lego goodness, the movie is filled with irreverent nods to all of Batman's lore and achieves the remarkable distinction of being the first Batman movie to feature Robin and still be, in true Lego movie style, awesome.
Everything is awesome
The movie takes us back to the Batman-Joker rivalry, the glue that holds the franchise together, but with a treatment that keeps the movie light, though poignant, and still faithful to the comic book mythos on which it was built. The rivalry is at the core of the movie, giving us the traditional battle of good vs evil, in a way that is anything but traditional.
Will Arnett as Batman, and Michael Cera as Robin, build on their Arrested Development chemistry to really sell the Batman-Robin shtick, and are ably assisted on their latest caper by an all-star cast including Zach Galifanakis (Joker), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon) and Ralph Fiennes (Alfred).
The film makes full use of every pop-culture franchise Lego and Warner Bros have access to, resulting in a side-splitting pastiche of nods to everything and anything you know and love. There are hat tips to everything from Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings, not to mention the rest of the Batman movie franchise itself, and all of them manage to elicit some amount of nostalgia, further endearing the movie to an already spoiled audience.
For padres and their kids
The gags are usually pretty effective, for example, the movie has a series of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Bane moments which manage to draw laughs every single time. Batman's overwhelming narcissism also keeps the movie ticking along nicely, providing an excellent comedic foil to the more tender issues that the movie weaves in.
While I had a suspicion that the movie would be wasted on children, the Lego universe proves once again that there is enough bright, poppy, feel-good material at its disposal to cater to a younger audience while never losing focus on the older members who actually paid for the tickets.
The end result is a high-energy movie that lives up to Lego's first cinematic foray, and then outdoes it with a rousing, and at times emotional, climax. After a recent string of strictly meh superhero movies we've been subject to, who would've thought the genre would get its first real boost in a while courtesy Lego animation?