Featuring The Voices of: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galafanakis, Jenny Slate, Conan O’Brien, Jason Mantzoukas, Doug Benson, Zoe Kravitz, Billy Dee Williams, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Hector Elizondo, Mariah Carey
Directed By: Chris McKay
Plot: Batman (Arnett) is a loner. But a bad ass, rapping loner who loves some lobster at the end of the day. He battles the villains of Gotham, most notably the Joker (Galafanakis), who wants so badly to be acknowledged as Batman’s arch-nemesis. After accidentally adopting an orphan (Cera), Batman finds himself struggling with issues about family, and whether or not a man can really be an island.
What Works: If you liked the first LEGO Movie, you’ll like this. They’re about the same. Both are good animated comedies with a lot of ideas and jokes, jam packed with pop culture references, and cheeky “in jokes”. At the heart, though, is a fairly entertaining Batman film. It’s hard to say that since it doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but it does make for a very entertaining film. It’s funny how much Arnett sounds like the guy who does the Honest Trailers. I also felt like the beginning of the film was a huge nod to Cinema Sins, with Arnett narrating over the opening. I can’t wait to see how the Cinema Sins guys handle that. They always ding for opening narration, and logos, but this is done so well, I can totally see them giving this a pass. And yes, Condiment King is a real villain from the comic books.
What Doesn’t Work: Just like The LEGO Movie, I liked this, but I didn’t love it. I thought the third act was a bit silly, and less representative of the Batman Universe than the LEGO Universe. If every LEGO movie is just going to bring in outside characters, what’s the point of a character centric spinoff? If you’re just going to drop Voldemort into Batman, why isn’t this just The Lego Movie 2? This film has five writers, so its no surprise that it sometimes feels like it’s throwing a lot of ideas out to see what sticks.
Final Word: A solid addition to the LEGO universe of films. Hope you like LEGO movies, cause Ninjago is coming very soon. Instead of one of these a year, it looks like LEGO is being the Marvel films, and going hard on pumping these things out. It’s only a matter of time before they announce a LEGO Batman 2.
Final Grade: B+