The LEGO Batman Movie seems like an easy cash-in on the success of The LEGO Movie but a true love for the source material and a sharp sense of humor has made this one of the best animated movies of the year.
Director: Chris McKay
Summary: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.
The LEGO Movie was an out of left field brilliant little movie that took the world by storm. Not only was it critically adored it also held the top spots at the box office for weeks with its wit and attention to detail that attracted viewers of all ages. One of the breakout characters of that movie happened to be Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) so it was not that surprising when Warner Bros announced a spin off movie for him. It was easy to disregard this as an easy money grab, but from the first trailer it was apparent that it was something completely different. This was not the Batman from the movies or even the comic books; this Batman was a whole new monster and that is what made it amazing. There are few movies that grab an audience from the first minute (a recent example would be Deadpool) and now the The LEGO Batman Movie. Once the jokes start they don't stop, and it is nonstop from the first minute until the credits roll.
The genius of this movie is that this is not just Batman but all of the Batman characters from past movies. This is Adam West as much as Christian Bale and the movie goes to great pains to remind us of that. It also isn't afraid of the fact that Batman is a silly character with a cartoon rogues gallery. The Batman of the modern era has tried to will all of that silliness out of existence but at its heart Batman is silly and has always been silly. The movie also does something that the Batman's of the modern era also does not seem to understand; Batman might be a loner but he is not a solitary character. The importance of characters like Robin (voiced by Michael Cera) and Barbara Gordon (voiced by Rosario Dawson) is not lost on this version of the dark knight. The movie knows they are important and the character focus is Batman realizing that as well.
It's about as close to perfect as it can get. While it doesn't have the memorable songs of The LEGO Movie, it makes up for it with an absolutely insane amount of Easter Eggs. The person who decides to catalog all of them has their work cut out for them, but they aren't obnoxious about the Easter Eggs either. They are there for the fans, but if you only have a base knowledge of Batman there is still plenty to love here. It also walks the line of meta the way the original did, and the attention to detail with the animation is just as stunning in this one as it was in The LEGO Movie.
The LEGO Batman Movie probably didn't need to try hard and would have made a ton of money on the fact that it has "LEGO" and "Batman" in the title. However, much like the original, it is a daring little movie that challenges the current iterations of the superhero genre while poking fun at it at the same time. We finally have the hero we deserve and need and he's a little plastic figurine.