THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

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THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
****


The Lego Batman Movie serves as a spin-off of 2014’s smash hit The Lego Movie and continues the hilarious exploits of that film’s egotistical incarnation of Batman (voiced by Will Arnett).
This time around, Batman has to deal with the villainous schemes of the Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), and the addition of two new members to the Bat Family: Batman’s adopted son and ward, Dick Grayson/Robin (voiced by Michael Cera) and Gotham City’s new commissioner, Barbara Gordon (voiced by Rosario Dawson).
The Lego Batman Movie manages to work well on two different levels. On the one hand, it is an extremely frantic action-comedy and love letter to the DC Universe and pop culture in general. The film, like its predecessor, has a fearlessly silly yet sharp sense of humor and some extravagant action scenes. This film demands multiple viewings, especially on home video, as some scenes fly by so fast that the human eye cannot take all the visuals in at first glance. And there are many homages to and cameos by not only other Batman and DC characters, but also such iconic screen baddies as King Kong, the Gremlins and Voldemort.
There is also a deeper side to this movie, as it takes a look at the key relationships in Batman’s life. The Joker’s evil plans here are a cry for attention, as he feels that Batman doesn’t truly reciprocate his hatred for him. And we take a look at Batman’s loner status. Since he lost his parents at a young age, Batman is afraid to become part of a family again. Thus, he tries to push away the people in his life, but ultimately realizes that he truly needs them. All this may sound rather trite and corny, but the film’s blend of silliness with just enough emotional sincerity results in a satisfying tale.
Overall, The Lego Batman Movie is a worthy successor to The Lego Movie, both as a hilarious, affectionate parody of pop culture and as a family story with its heart in the right place. If you’ve ever been a fan of the Dark Knight and have a sense of humor regarding caped crusaders, then everything is still awesome.

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