The Lego Batman Movie

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Batman is perhaps the most iconic fictional pop figure of all time, his lasting power is undeniable. This is a character who has consistently dominated imagination and psyche through countless iterations in various forms of media for over 50 years. There’s an ironic fascination concerning the juxtaposition of his murky moral compass coinciding against his simple backstory.

Usually upstaged by plot or side characters, it would not be an incorrect assessment to label “Lego Batman” as the rare Batman film entirely focused on the hero. After The Joker unleashes a spectacular rogue gallery of villains against Gotham City and his closest acquaintances, Batman must come to terms with his loneliness and quick dismissal of relationships. Plunging beyond surface level, we are not spared the more sociopathic and alienating tendencies exposing Batman as a walking contradiction that inadvertently inflicts damage to his city and the few remaining people close to him like his loyal butler Alfred. Who could have imagined a PG animated comedy would prove to be such a thoughtful character study! [B+]

It may not scrape the heights of its equally zany predecessor, but that doesn’t make it less of a satisfying blast. The whole cast is a delight, particularly Michael Cera as the childlike and oblivious Robin and of course Will Arnett, who is having the time of his life reveling in the insane ego of the Dark Knight. The animation is gloriously rendered in busy and colorful implosions. The plot itself is essentially a premise and as a result, a good chunk of the orgy of sight gags and verbose quips inspire more amused recognition than outright laughs. The final act and typically overblown superhero finale adheres to the tidy conventions of the genre, but it never loses track of its deep understanding of the main character. Lego has created another wonderful universe and I would love to return to Batman’s world full of lobster thermidor and sick beat-boxing

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