The Lego Batman Movie Review: A Seriously Funny Time


The Lego Batman Movie constructs a narrative that’s full of humor and rich in emotions.

The Lego Batman Movie could be the most hilarious movie you’ll see this year. Yes, that’s a bold statement since we’re still at the start of 2017. However, Warner Bros., in their effort to create a side-splitting comedy film, gave us one of the most badass and complex Dark Knights to grace the silver screen. With quotable one-liners, poignant moments, and a plethora of homages and references, this latest superhero film is worth viewing multiple times.

More from Movies

Let’s start off and talk about Will Arnett’s self-aware Batman. Hey, the movie is titled after our hero and Mr. Arnett makes no qualms about playing the Caped Crusader bigger than ever. With his signature gravely voice, the actor makes arrogance and self-aggrandizing endearing qualities.

Like every great movie, the story needs to be driven by the character. And the character needs to be driven by some unattended emotional need—which gives him the coveted quality of arcing.

Bruce Wayne / Batman, the hero of Gotham City, is actually quite happy with his life. He saves the day and comes home to an empty, giant mansion—and he loves it that way. However, his ever-faithful and father-like butler, Alfred, reminds him that he can’t be a solitary man forever.

During a chance meeting with an idolizing orphan, Dick Grayson, Bruce inadvertently adopts him. Hence, Dick becomes the catalyst that up-ends Batman’s world, sending him on an emotional journey.

The Dark Knight doesn’t realize it at first, but as time goes on, he starts to learn the meaning of his most hated word: “teamwork.” Batman’s selfish ways (yes, a hero can be selfish, and Arnett beautifully voices a Batman who’s both lovable and self-centered—for a reason of course) get him into a lot of trouble—and that’s where most of the humor is rooted.

The supporting characters of Alfred Pennyworth, Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and the Joker are just as complex and well-played as our protagonist. Dick is very happy-go-lucky and is the conduit which every fanboy lives through (I mean, who doesn’t want to be adopted by Batman!?)

The Joker is probably the most three-dimensional interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime since Heath Ledger’s monumental performance in The Dark Knight (2008). Zach Galifianakis doesn’t play the villain with as much maniacal zeal, but he does message to the audience the important relationship between the Joker and Batman.

Other films and properties outside of the comics have definitely touched on the symbiotic existence of the two characters. However, The Lego Batman Movie conveys it the clearest. By humorously making the Joker seem like a spurned girlfriend, the writers avoided hitting audiences over their heads with the proverbial two-by-four.

For fans of comics and pop culture, this film has it in spades. Really, how much does it have? I lost count after the first five minutes. It got to the point where if you looked away, you missed something. That’s why this film warrants multiple viewings. You’re definitely going to find something new every time. From music cues, quick call-outs, and hidden background characters, The Lego Batman Movie is like the toy it’s inspired from—the fun is in the pieces.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a comic book fan or not. Treat yourself this weekend to something that will make you laugh until your abs are sore (for those who have seen the movie, I’m sure Batman himself will approve of this “exercise”). If you don’t understand all the jokes, Batman advises you to ask your “nerd friends.” Or just go home and google it. You’ll find yourself laughing again sitting at your computer. This movie really is the gift that keeps on giving.

As a side note, this film may end up displacing a story in our 100 Greatest Superhero Stories list.

Next: Check out the original trailer from Comic-Con 2016

The Lego Batman Movie—Official Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, LEGO Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

The Lego Batman Movie has a release date of February 10, 2017. It will be directed by Chris McKay, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, and star Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Zack Galifianakis as The Joker, Michael Cera as Dick Grayson / Robin, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth, and Maria Carey as the Mayor of Gotham City.