Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
|Featuring:||Will Arnett … Batman / Bruce Wayne (voice)
Jenny Slate … Harley Quinn (voice)
Ralph Fiennes … Alfred Pennyworth (voice)
Channing Tatum … Clark Kent / Superman (voice)
Jonah Hill … Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (voice)
Rosario Dawson … Batgirl / Barbara Gordon (voice)
Jemaine Clement … Sauron (voice)
Zoë Kravitz … Selina Kyle / Catwoman (voice)
Zach Galifianakis … The Joker (voice)
Ellie Kemper … Phyllis (voice)
Michael Cera … Robin / Dick Grayson (voice)
Kate Micucci … Clayface (voice)
Adam Devine … Barry Allen / The Flash (voice)
Seth Green … King Kong (voice)
Mariah Carey … Mayor McCaskill (voice)
Billy Dee Williams … Two-Face (voice)
Jason Mantzoukas … Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow (voice)
Riki Lindhome … Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy (voice)
Eddie Izzard … Voldemort (voice)
Conan O'Brien … Edward Nygma / Riddler (voice)
Doug Benson … Bane (voice)
Siri … 'Puter
|Director:||Chris McKay—“The Lego Movie” (2014), “Robot Chicken” (2005-2011), “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” (2010)|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Prequel: “The LEGO Movie” (2014)
Review updated February 15, 2017
It’s awesome being Batman (aka Bruce Wayne). The people of Gotham City love him; he has his amazing Bat cave with all his high tech vehicles and gadgets. While it’s awesome to be Batman, it can also be very lonesome. His butler, Alfred, tells Bruce that there is one thing he fears in this world and that is relationships with other people and being part of a family. Bruce’s loneliness starts to diminish once he realizes, after attending an event for an orphanage, that he “accidentally” (not paying attention) adopted a young boy, Richard Grayson.
During a confrontation between Batman, the Joker and the Joker’s gang of villains that he broke out of Arkham Asylum, the Joker tells Batman that he and his entire gang are turning themselves in. Batman is skeptical about this and begins to monitor Joker at the Asylum.
Fearing the worst, Batman realizes that the only place Joker should be, where he can’t harm anyone anymore, is the Phantom Zone, a place outside the LEGO universe where all the worst villains are locked away. Batman realizes that the only way to send Joker there is by sneaking into Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and stealing his Phantom Zone transporter gun. The problem is that the gun is protected deep underneath the Fortress of Solitude, surrounded by dozens of lasers and the only way Batman could sneak in is through the vents, which he is to big to fit.
Enlisting the assistance of his new son Richard (whom Batman nicknames Dick), the two of them successfully acquire the ray, and Batman, during a visit to Arkham Asylum, sends the Joker to the Phantom Zone. But Joker has a plan of his own and with the help of Harley Quinn is able to escape the Phantom Zone and unleash the nastiest villains from the Phantom Zone on Gotham City.
It’s going to take Batman, Dick, Alfred and the new police commissioner, Barbara, to stop the Joker from destroying the city of Gotham, before it’s too late.
Walking in this afternoon, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from “The LEGO Batman Movie.” While “The LEGO Movie,” which I reviewed for Christian Spotlight, was a phenomenal film, in my mind, leading up this afternoon’s showing, I questioned whether “The LEGO Movie” needed a spinoff series with Batman. In my opinion, in “The LEGO Movie,” Batman was one of those characters who really didn’t stand out that much and had very few humorous lines.
After this afternoon’s showing, I must agree with many of the critics in saying that “The LEGO Batman movie” is a wonderful, well written film. What impressed me is that it has a relatively strong plot, strong character development of Batman, some great performances from Will Arnett, Michael Cera, and Rosario Dawson, as well strong (thankfully, not cheesy) messages, as other reviewers have mentioned, regarding family, adoption, and teamwork. My only complaints would be the use of toilet humor, which the original LEGO Movie didn’t contain much of, and there are a couple occasions where the pacing is slow. In general, though, this is a well-developed and enjoyable film from start to finish.
While “The LEGO Batman Movie” is a relatively clean, there is some objectionable content to contend with, should you decide to take children:
Violence: Most of the violence in the film is tame and not to be taken seriously, including LEGO buildings being destroyed by villains, LEGO vehicles crashing into things, a scene where Dick smashes his head against a dashboard, and villains using guns (characters shoot at each other, but we don’t see anything graphic happen to the characters). Other violence includes some fist fights between the heroes and the villains.
Language of concern includes the words “heck,” “stupid,” and “sucks.” Other suggestive dialog, which made me slightly uncomfortable, occurs between the Joker and Batman regarding their relationship (basically mocking romantic relationship break-ups), and a toilet reference to Richard’s nickname being “Dick.”
Mild Sexual Content: Batman and Dick are seen in their undwear, after pulling off the pants of their costumes. In another scene, we briefly scene Batman without a shirt on (he is changing out of his costume though). Joker also rubs his bottom on Batman’s vehicles.
Other: One of the villains from the Harry Potter universe, Voldemort, uses magic spells to attack the heroes. There is some homosexual innuendo in dialogue between Batman and Joker, and there is a push when the character Dick says, “I have two dads.”
As I previously mentioned, the film contains strong messages of friendship, family and teamwork. It is refreshing to watch a film that promotes these themes not just once but consistently throughout the film.
While it may not be as strong, in my opinion, as “The LEGO Movie,” I have come to realize that “The LEGO Batman Movie” is not trying to BE “The LEGO Movie.” It is a prime example of how family-friendly films can be made without the large amounts of toilet humor or suggestive content. The LEGO Batman is a relatively safe, well-written and humorous film that I can comfortably recommend to children and adults.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…funny, exciting and packed with gags… [4/5]
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…pretty irresistible. It’s silly without being truly strange or crossing over into absurdity…
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…A highly quotable, visual treat that’s packed with in-jokes but is entertaining enough on its own terms to work for fans and non-fans alike. The best Batman film in years. …
—Jonathan Pile,·Empire [UK]
…an irreverent blast, a fun, funny send-up of the Caped Crusader and his world that turns out to be just the shot of adrenaline the dour superhero with the permanent scowl needs right now. …
—Adam Graham, The Detroit News
…A helter-skelter lampoon in the daftly exhilarating spirit of Mad magazine and the “Naked Gun films. It's that quick and cutthroat clever and self-knowing. …
—Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…superbly silly… This animated sendup of comic-book epics includes a neurotic Batman, a needy Joker and a desperate Dick Grayson…
—Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
…Everything isn’t as awesome the second time around. …
—Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter