Since Christopher Nolan brought his ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy to a close in 2012, I think it is safe to say that the Batman franchise has been in a bit of a slump. The superhero’s most recent outings, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad have been panned virtually across the board, despite each taking a considerable amount at the box office. For fans who may be worried about the future of the caped crusader in a DCEU on the brink of collapse, comfort may be taken, however, in the LEGO iteration of the character who first made an appearance in 2014’s The Lego Movie. Based on his success in the film, now he’s been given his own adventure which proves, once again, that everything is awesome.
Like its predecessor, and the whole LEGO franchise in general, this ‘LEGO Batman Movie’ is about as kinetic as they come. It’s a ball of energy, brightly coloured, and relentlessly fast-paced in the way all it’s moving parts interlock. Rarely stopping for breath, it has an impressive hit rate when it comes to its jokes, beginning with Will Arnett’s excellent voiceover work over the opening logos of the film, and never letting up right until the final credit rolls.
There’s plenty here for everybody to enjoy, child and parent alike, but Batman fans will get a particular kick out of the many references that are littered throughout, which range from the obvious to the obscure. And even if you aren’t the biggest know-it-all when it comes to the masked vigilante, the fact that a LEGO world allows pretty much anything to happen means there are plenty of other pop culture surprises that are certain to raise at least a few smiles from even the least knowledgeable audience member.
As well as it’s solid gags and eye-popping visuals, The LEGO Batman Movie does have a lovely message of friendship and family at its centre. At times it’s a message that works as a disadvantage to the story, especially as it is overstretched in the final third. But whilst the film could certainly have benefited from at least ten-minutes being chopped off toward the end, the central plot point of Batman’s fear of relationships shows more understanding of the character than other recent versions at the very least.
In comparison to said versions, this is undeniably the best Batman outing we’ve had since Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. It’s witty, seeet, self-aware, and has more energy than the many younger viewers who were hopped up on sugar during my screening.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com