Review: "The Lego Batman Movie" – Virginia Tech Collegiate Times

For reviewing purposes, I generally see one movie each week. That means that over the past few years, I have seen quite a few comedies. Several of them have been rated R.

“The Lego Batman Movie” made me laugh longer and harder than the majority of the more traditionally “adult” comedies out there. In fact, I would venture to say that this was the hardest I have laughed in a movie theater since “Deadpool.” In other words, this is how you make quality family entertainment.

“The Lego Batman Movie” starts out in a similar fashion to “Deadpool,” breaking the fourth wall as Will Arnett’s miniaturized caped crusader tells us over a black screen that all of the best films start in black. He then goes on to describe the dramatic music and long line of production company logos that are standard in the best movies out there.

Not only is this a hilarious way to kick things off, but it sets the tone for the remainder of this joke-a-minute romp through Gotham City.  

The basic story is that the Joker, tired of not receiving the respect and hatred he feels he deserves from Batman (in a clever twist on romantic comedy plots), decides to “leave” Batman, as do all of the other villains in Gotham City.  

Joker and the rest of the baddies surrender to the new chief of police, Barbara Gordon, leaving Batman all alone with nothing to do but brood — that is, until he realizes that he unintentionally adopted a son at a recent gala he attended.

Batman’s trusty butler Alfred urges him to be a father figure to the child. In this way, Batman can face his one true fear: getting close to others, regardless of the risks involved. This storyline alone shows that director Chris McKay has a better grasp on who Batman is as a character than Zack Snyder ever will.

By delving into the hero’s psychological issues, the film shows a great respect for the Batman mythos. Along with providing a thoughtful look into Batman’s psyche, it also throws joke after joke at the screen, almost daring you not to laugh.  

Sure, not every joke hits, but the comedy is so rapid fire that if you did not like one joke, you are almost sure to laugh at the next one.  

Arnett is fantastic as Batman, growling side-splitting, narcissistic dialogue while granting the character with just enough heart to keep the audience on his side. Zach Galifianakis gives us one of the most adorable Joker incarnations ever conceived, as his ongoing need for Batman to admit his feelings for him drives the story forward in absurdly comical ways.  

Ralph Fiennes, as always, is superb as Alfred. Rosario Dawson is great as Barbara Gordon, countering Batman’s desire to work alone with her own push to bring Gotham together.

The guy who steals the show, though, is Michael Cera as Robin. Every single line out of Robin’s mouth is hysterical, and Cera’s boyish voice is perfect for the character.  

“The Lego Batman Movie” is, without a doubt, the best DC movie since “The Dark Knight Rises.” It is hilarious and heartwarming in equal doses and filled to the brim with Easter eggs for fans of the comics. I give “The Lego Batman Movie” five out of five stars.   


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