“Are you ready to follow Batman and maybe learn a few life lessons along the way?” asks LEGO Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) to his newly adopted son, LEGO Dick Grayson (voiced by Michael Cera), as the young man teams up with the caped crusader to take on the LEGO Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) in the animated action-comedy, The LEGO Batman Movie.
There are big changes in Gotham City for The Dark Knight, with Barbara Gordon (voiced by Rosario Dawson) taking over as the new Commissioner who insists Batman stop working alone and work with her to fight crime. The crazed clown The Joker is bent on destroying the city and proving to The Dark Knight that he IS his biggest enemy. Plus, Alfred (voiced by Ralph Fiennes) is not letting Batman get out of accidentally adopting a teen orphan because he wants master Bruce to have a new family.
With all this to deal with, and a few other surprises that won’t be revealed here, it seems in order to save Gotham and those he cares about from The Joker, Batman might actually have to stop being a lone vigilante and learn to work with his new son, Barbara, and his loyal butler, Alfred, as a team.
Bright, action-packed, and amusing, The LEGO Batman Movie is a fun and at times chaotic adventure for both kids and adults. The film has an A-list voice cast of actors bringing these characters to life wonderfully on the screen. Will Arnett owns the movie as the voice of Batman and once again has the most laugh-out-loud lines, just as he did three years ago voicing the Caped Crusader in The LEGO Movie.
Michael Cera is effective, and a bit annoying, as the voice of the always surprised and overly positive Dick Grayson (aka Robin). Rosario Dawson does a solid job lending her voice to Barbara Gordon who desperately wants to work with her childhood hero, Batman, but gets discouraged when her idol starts to fall from his pedestal. However, hands down it’s Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Alfred who’s the best addition to the animated LEGO movie world. The scenes between Alfred and Batman are some of the film’s funniest. Ralph also voices a surprise major villain who teams up with The Joker, but it won’t be revealed here who it is he plays. Suffice it to say, it’s a great surprise and fun twist to this family-friendly film.
The action scenes are fun but a bit long and chaotic, and unfortunately some of the humor and one-liners are likely to be missed by the audience. I have to point out that one of the best action scenes is when The LEGO Batman Movie does a take-off on/homage to the 1960s Batman television show.
The script is solid and has a positive message for kids and teens about the importance of family and friends and not being too proud to admit when you need help. Visually impressive, funny, and fast-paced, The LEGO Batman Movie is an entertaining animated adventure for families and a worthy addition to the list of Batman films.
Directed By: Chris McKay
MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor and some action
Release Date: February 10, 2017
Running Time: 103 minutes