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Lego Batman a Breath of Fresh Air for DC’s Dourest Crusader

(02.19.2017) By Jared Martin — Lego Batman Lego Batman sticks the landing as a sequel every bit as fresh and exciting as its predecessor, The Lego Movie, with almost everything that made it great carrying over into a heartfelt, wickedly funny, gloriously animated, and above all else fun sequel.

This isn’t just a Lego movie, though: it’s also a Batman movie. Usually, Batman is not the star of the show, serving as a backdrop to show off the more elaborate villain characters, without much personality himself.

Lego Batman, however, showcases the intricacies of the character, and Batman is by far the most compelling character of the film. He’s a loner, as always, but he’s also a lonely dork, which is much more fun and refreshing than the dark, brooding Batman we usually get.

Despite different writers and a new director (Chris McKay) taking over, the film’s jokes are as sharp and fast as they were in the first movie. There’s rarely a moment where there isn’t one, whether it’s dialog, visual humor, or background gags to be noticed on repeat viewings.

The animation is stunning as well, and every frame is detailed, with creative animation sequences and the subtle wear of plastic retained.

The movie feels tightly written in spite of its runtime of nearly two hours. The film focuses on relationships and family, and it does a good job of being heartfelt without getting cheesy or trite.

Will Arnett brings Batman to life perfectly, balancing the fun aspects of Batman’s personality with a pitch perfect sense of vulnerability and loneliness. Arnett is a deft voice actor, taking on the challenge of rapping one minute and giving a real sense of heart the next.

The rest of the cast is strong as well, with Michael Cera giving Robin a loveable charm, and Ralph Fiennes and Rosario Dawson are excellent as Alfred and Barbara Gordon respectively. Zach Galifanikis gives a different take on The Joker, which after Jared Leto in Suicide Squad is entirely welcome.

The characters mesh well into a cohesive story, though the movie could have done well with less. It does get a little overwhelming having so many obscure Batman characters running around, along with Voldemort, Gremlins, and Daleks.

Lego Batman does lack some of the emotional punch of the ending of its predecessor, and it didn’t quite invoke as strong a feeling of nostalgia, but it still serves as a worthy sequel, and exactly what Batman needed to keep going before DC’s undoubtedly super serious, super dark, super un-fun next swing at Batman.