When Warner Bros. announced there would be a spinoff movie to The LEGO Movie, I was actually not that surprised and I felt it was expected but that didn’t diminish the fact that I was extremely excited for The LEGO Batman Movie. I’ve gotten a chance to see the movie in a press screening a few days ago and here are my thoughts of it. Of course, the movie won’t be out until Friday so this is a spoiler-free review.
Right from the get-go, the opening credit scene is as funny as you can expect from Will Arnett’s narration. It then shifts to an action scene, where there is a ton of in the whole movie, where the Joker is trying to deploy one of his plans. It also introduces some of the other villains, which we’ve seen in the trailers, in a very short amount of time. I feel the story itself is actually two different stories combined into one main story that works very well. The most obvious one is the relationship between Batman and the Joker, again, which we’ve seen parts of in the trailer. The other story is Batman figuring himself out with or without help of his friends.
One thing to take away from The LEGO Batman Movie is that is does stay true to the vision that Phil Lord and Chris Miller gave when they said a lot of Batman history will be included in the film. Combine that with some LEGO humor that kids may or may not get and you have a film to look forward to. One thing that is very distinct to me is a reference of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. You’ll know what I mean when it happens.
For the characters, I felt they were portrayed as expected. Will Arnett does a great job with Batman and the character’s demeanor continues from where it left off in The LEGO Movie. Zach Galifianakis’ Joker is somewhat different than what you would expect the Joker’s character would be especially if you’ve watched The Dark Knight and Suicide Squad. For Michael Cera’s Robin, I didn’t think that I would like the character as much as I did and think his performance was equal to Batman and even surpasses him in some scenes. Ralph Fiennes’ Alfred is calm and collected as he usually is but he also displays emotional attachment to Batman. To round it out, Rosario Dawson’s Barbara Gordon has the disposition that you would expect her character to have. There are many more characters but most of the dialogue in the movie revolves around those characters.
For the other villains, there are a ton of them. We’ve already seen a lot of them in the trailers and in the LEGO sets but there are also some that you may not expect. One or few, depending on how you look at it, in particular is way out in left field but it was a very cool cameo to see. We all know that The LEGO Movie universe includes a lot of licensed properties from different universes and this cameo character is exactly that.
One of the biggest questions is whether the movie shows the sets that we can already purchase because we know that LEGO likes to produce sets that have no relation to the movie. The answer to that is yes. All of the sets that have been released so far were shown including the ones in the Collectible Minifigures. One complain I do have is some of the vehicles and characters have very little screen time but we still have physical products for them which is awesome for LEGO to do.
One of the things that I haven’t mentioned about is the amazing soundtrack. Although the main song isn’t as catchy as Everything is Awesome, it’s still not bad considering it’s about Batman. I do like some of the old school songs that pops up when you least expect it. The score by Lorne Balfe takes cues from scores of previous Batman movies which you can definitely recognize. The sound effects used were hilarious as well especially when guns are fired. You’ll certainly get a kick out of it when you hear it.
Overall, The LEGO Batman Movie is a really enjoyable film for both kids and adults. I feel that the movie will not only cater to LEGO fans but to DC fans as well as there are lots of references to the DC Universe. Although the movie is in the same universe as The LEGO Movie, it has a different vibe to it but it is entertaining nonetheless. There are some scenes in the trailers that didn’t make the final cut which is not that surprising but I would like to see it as a deleted scene for the home version. There are some scenes that I felt were a little bit slow but it does pick up again a few moments later so there isn’t really a long stretch of dullness. One other minor complaint that I have is that the movie doesn’t have as much LEGO-related dialogue as I expected.
Warner Bros. has kicked up the advertising for The LEGO Batman Movie moreso than with The LEGO Movie which probably isn’t needed because it is Batman and everyone knows Batman. There’s a lot of merchandise that you can get now and if you didn’t hear yet, there will be more sets coming out this summer. Hopefully, WB does the same amount of promotion for the upcoming LEGO Ninjago Movie as well .
The LEGO Batman Movie officially releases Friday, February 10 here in the US and I do recommend seeing it. I’ll definitely be getting it for the home release which I feel will include some exclusive, similar to what The LEGO Movie had.