The LEGO Batman Movie Review
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In 2014, audiences and critics alike fell in love with the action and irreverent comedy of The LEGO Movie (and we haven’t been able to get “Everything Is Awesome” out of our heads since). Following the film’s overwhelming success, the animation team pulled out all of their darkest bricks and wackiest villains to produce an over-the-top superhero spinoff, The LEGO Batman Movie.

The LEGO Batman Movie opens as Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) once again rescues Gotham City from The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and his bizarre band of villains. Once the city is safe, he returns home to his solitary existence—which becomes even more solitary after The Joker and his accomplices willingly surrender themselves to new commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson). After discovering that he’s accidentally adopted eager orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), Batman tries to shut himself off from the world even more. But when The Joker hatches a sinister plan, Batman discovers that he might need to team up with his friends to keep Gotham safe.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the playful geniuses behind The LEGO Movie, may have taken a step back from their writing and directing duties for the spinoff, but new director Chris McKay wastes no time in picking up where they left off. In fact, the film’s wackiness begins even before the Warner Bros. logo appears on the screen.

The LEGO Batman Movie continues with the same sense of humor that made the original so much fun. It’s clever and sarcastic and completely self-aware, even offering LEGO-styled glimpses into previous Batman movies. So if you’re looking for more of the same silliness, you definitely won’t be disappointed. The crazy comedy is rapid and nearly non-stop—as are the clever action sequences. Not everything here works—like wide-eyed Robin, who sometimes goes a little too far over the top—but, fortunately, it moves along so quickly that the less successful moments soon pass.

Of course, since this is still a Batman movie, it’s also quite a bit darker than the original. Batman’s moodiness may be set up in the most comical of ways, but he’s still dark and brooding, which sometimes makes the film feel longer and heavier than its predecessor. Older viewers will be in on the joke—and they’ll find the random collection of assorted villains who team up with The Joker to be wildly amusing. Younger viewers, however, might not understand that the presence of these sinister characters from unrelated franchises is supposed to be funny—and they may just find it scary. But while you may want to leave the littlest family members at home, the rest of the family is sure to enjoy it.

With its witty writing and clever animated action, The LEGO Batman Movie will have audiences cheering and laughing, too. Though the Dark Knight’s moodiness sometimes makes it a little less playful than its predecessor, it’s still a whole lot of bat-fun.

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