Starring: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera
Director: Chris McKay
Running Time: 104 mins
The Lego Batman Movie is an American film following Batman as he attempts to foil the Joker’s most unnecessarily complicated plot yet, all the while wrestling with his inner loneliness and reluctance to form a family once again.
This is such a fun film. Filled to the brim with constant, rapid-fire humour, The Lego Batman Movie is a silly delight from start to finish. Its upbeat and manic vibes make the time pass by in the blink of an eye, but thanks to some great writing, directing and voice acting, there’s so much fun to be had in that meantime.
However, we have to start off with the film’s defining quality: the comedy. These Lego movies have found such a brilliant brand of humour. They’re absolutely insane, move at a million miles an hour, and are full of fantastic self-aware jokes that you just don’t see all that often in other films. The Lego Movie did that so well in 2014, the short Ninjago film ‘The Master’ repeated the success in 2016, but it’s The Lego Batman Movie that arguably does it the best.
From the very first moment, the film doesn’t let up for one second with its unique brand of comedy. Consistently pulling new jokes out of the bag and never getting too repetitive, I had an absolute blast with this movie, laughing my socks off from start to finish.
And the great thing is, it’s not just a family-friendly slapstick show. Although it’s a little cuter and simpler than The Lego Movie, it’s still full of brilliantly intelligent humour. From subtle adult jokes that pay off brilliantly to a whole host of Warner Bros’ self-depracating jokes about DC, there’s so much to laugh at here, and because it moves so fast, I’m sure that hundreds more gags would crop up on second viewing.
Moving on from the comedy now to the voice performances. Will Arnett was fantastic in The Lego Movie as Batman, and he pulls off the same here. His over-the-top performance gives Batman that hilariously zany quality, and when contrasted with the rest of the cast, all of whom are just as brilliant, it makes for even more fun.
The other big positive about this film is definitely the directing. As I said earlier, the rapid-fire and almost relentless comedy here makes for so many laughs, but that definitely couldn’t be achieved without the excellent direction from Chris McKay. Picking up from where Lord and Miller left off in The Lego Movie, McKay gives The Lego Batman Movie that perfectly zany, off-the-wall atmosphere that makes it such a joy to watch. Never really taking itself too seriously, and always willing to go the extra mile to make you laugh, McKay does a fantastic job here.
On the whole, there’s so much to enjoy about this movie, but there is still one issue that I do have with it, and that comes in the form of its screenplay. Whilst the main plot isn’t particularly thrilling, it’s clear that the comedy is the main focus of the movie, so its predictability isn’t much of a problem.
However, where The Lego Movie managed to turn so many heads with its stunningly deep and intelligent story, this film doesn’t quite manage the same. Whilst it does a good job keeping its main message as enjoyable as possible early on, Lego Batman becomes a little too preachy in the final act. It’s a nice message and all, but they still really beat you over the head with it come the finale, and it makes for numerous awkward transitions between the brilliant humour and a somewhat irritating pushiness.
Overall, however, there’s no denying how fun this film is. Largely because it’s just so funny, full of fantastic humour wherever you look, but also because of the voice performances, directing and excellent animation. The story isn’t stunning, and I became a little tired of the main message come the end, but on the whole, this is still a hugely enjoyable movie, and that’s why I’m giving The Lego Batman Movie an 8.4.