Holy Fanboy Amazement, Lego Batman! How can this film have two slightly different scores, making it either “good” or “great”?! We’ll get to that in a moment, but first a quick summary of The Lego Batman Movie…
When just about every villain in Lego Batman’s rogues gallery unite to blow up Gotham, our minifigure hero leaps in to action and saves the day with his usual blow-hard style. But deep down there’s a problem: he’s all alone. In fact, Batman has isolated himself from any sort of emotional connections at all, to the point where he scoffs at romantic films and eats his lobster thermidor in the batcave in complete silence. When Barbara Gordon becomes the new police commissioner, things get even worse as he finds himself suddenly obsolete.
In a bid to help Batman open up emotionally, Alfred follows through on an errant comment made about adopting a young orphan for him, namely Dick Grayson. Batman ignores his newfound fatherly responsibilities, until he drags his ward in to his plan to steal Superman’s Phantom Zone projector, an act which turns Grayson in to Robin. But the Joker’s scheme to release everyone from the Phantom Zone is unlike anything the dark knight could anticipate, and before long he has to accept that he can no longer save Gotham on his own – he needs a family…
Right off the bat (no pun intended) it has to be said that this film can fairly lay claim to the title of being the best Batman film ever. It incorporates everything that Batman is, and has ever been, perfectly. It captures the core essence of what makes Bruce Wayne/Batman tick, from his fear of emotional attachment to his hard-ass approach and arrogant superiority. Simply put, he IS Batman. Not only that, but there are plenty of references to every Batman you’ve ever seen.
They also cover the strange, almost weirdly romantic, relationship between Batman and the Joker, show plenty of obscure characters that only super-geeks could name on sight, and drop reference upon reference to the point where it becomes obsessive. And those are just the things you’ll notice on the surface.
It’s fanboy overload, cranked up to eleven. Then it goes even further.
There are so many fun appearances and pop culture references that it’s outright madness. As with the original Lego Movie, just when you think you’ve seen it all, you’ll be shocked at what comes next. Seriously, who ever imagined that Doctor Who characters, a Harry Potter villain, King Kong and Lounge Against The Machine’s Richard Cheese would all be in the same film?
So why the slightly mixed score here?
This really is a brilliant Batman film. It’s hilarious, heartfelt, action-packed, and truly is one best enjoyed by obsessive super-fans who have a maximum of bat-knowledge. That’s because those are the ones who’ll get every joke and will thrill as Batman finally says those three little words to the Joker, while Robin camps it up like never before.
For everyone else though, it may be a little overwhelming and could come across like it’s pushing too hard. From the very beginning it has an almost Deadpool-like sense of anarchy as Batman snarks on about the production logos like “Warner Bross” and how he made DC a success, before he gleefully gives a computer password as “Iron Man sucks” and tells Grayson that kids call him Dick because kids can be cruel. He even chides the Suicide Squad as the dumbest idea ever. Funny, yes, but if you aren’t geared up for that style of comedy then it’ll fall flat.
This truly is the ultimate Batman movie, but almost too much so because it gives everyone exactly what they want, regardless of which Batman they love. It’s a good comedy and an all-ages superhero film which isn’t afraid to knock the stuffing out of itself and others. For me personally, it hit all the right notes and, like Batman, is great. For others though, it may only be good.