‘Lego Batman’ Perhaps the Best ‘Bat’ Film

‘Lego Batman’ Perhaps the Best ‘Bat’ Film

The Dark Knight Gets the Brick Treatment

Perhaps Hollywood really is at the point where Lego-ified franchises understand their characters better than their grounded, live-action counterparts.

“The Lego Batman Movie” certainly makes that case, and if these films continue to be as smart as they are hilarious, moviegoers had best get comfortable with seeing more and more of their favorite cinematic icons get the brick treatment.

If last year’s successful Deadpool” relied on taking jabs at itself, “Lego Batman” is a total onslaught of self-deprecating humor.

The concept would have been ridiculed a few years ago, yet here we are. Nine years after receiving the best big-screen version of the Bat in “The Dark Knight,” and less than a year removed from washing the sour taste of “Batman v. Superman” out of our mouths, we have the delightful and delightfully self-aware “Lego Batman Movie.”

A spinoff of a breakout character from the animated 2014 hit, “The Lego Movie, “Lego Batman” is its hyper, overattentive little brothera whirlwind of everything that universe has to offer (and indeed, beyond the realm of DC Comics) that dares to step out from its big brother’s shadow.

As much for adults as it is for children in both humor (a surprising amount of which is very mature) and substance, “Lego Batman” dwells on the lonely aspect of the hero’s life – the quiet contrast to the colorful high of fighting Gotham crime. With his own theme song to boot, of course (though it’s nowhere near as euphoric as “Everything Is Awesome”).

The film boasts an incredible array of actors lending their voices, including Will Arnett as Batman, Michael Cera as the innocent and untested Robin, Zach Galifianakis as a creepily sentimental Joker, and, in a particularly entertaining “cameo,” Siri as the Batcave’s computer.

They all perform to charming effect, even when there seems to be so much happening that it’s hard to catch some of the most memorable one-liners. This movie is chock-full of them, but so much of its success relies on the endless stream of Easter eggs and references that it never feels like its bloated with them.

You don’t have to be world’s biggest Batman fan to catch them, either. There are jokes for fans who are only familiar with the most recent films, the entire universe and everything in between The film doesn’t discriminate, and it demands multiple viewings to catch all the gags.

You’d probably want to watch a second time anyway, that’s how charming the movie is. Though perhaps not as contemplative as “The Lego Movie,” “Lego Batman” is just as fun, and even more bombastic. The less you know about the plot – especially the constantly surprising third act – the better the experience will be.

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David Lynch is an award-winning film critic and journalist and the current editor-in-chief of the New Mexico Daily Lobo.

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