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The LEGO Batman Movie




The LEGO Batman Movie (PG)
Film Reviews by Amy Diaz

02/16/17
By Amy Diaz adiaz@hippopress.com



Batman must overcome his fear of finding (and potentially losing) another family in The LEGO Batman Movie, another of the Lego-animated films.

Batman (voice of Will Arnett) likes getting cheers in public but in private is all solitude and angry metal music, just as The LEGO Movie suggested. Still hurting from the loss of his parents, he won’t even acknowledge the surrogate father he has in Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) or pay attention to the eager orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) he accidentally adopts. He won’t even single out the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) as his greatest enemy (something like “I like to fight around” is what Batman explains to the unappreciated-feeling Joker, a line that you may have also seen in trailers). 
The only thing that might bring him out of his shell is the new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson). He doesn’t like her plan to have the police department take over the crime-solving from the unaccountable, extra-legal Batman, but the world does go briefly slo-mo every time he sees her. (Side note: Barbara Gordon makes some pretty good points about the general ineffectiveness of Batman’s methods.) 
When the Joker surrenders, Barbara Gordon gets all the credit but neither she nor Batman believes he is for real. Barbara correctly guesses, after the Joker tricks Batman into sending him to the Phantom Zone, that supposedly inescapable prison dimension was where he wanted to be all along. The incident also makes Batman face the uncomfortable truth that even in his Fortress of Solitude, Superman (Channing Tatum) still manages to have crowds of friends while Batman does not.
There is so much to love about The LEGO Batman Movie — from the fact that it has fun with all previous Batman iterations (including Batman v. Superman, the 1990s Batman movies and the 1960s Batman TV show) to the throwaway lines, such as Barbara’s question for why she is Batgirl (girl) if he is Batman. As in The LEGO Movie, there are the wonderful Lego sight gags (the u-shaped Lego people hands are comedy gold) and general visual brilliance of Lego characters moving in a Lego world (if they don’t get an Oscar nomination for this next year, why even have an animated category?). And then there’s Will Arnett, whose voice work ties it all together. He’s a perfect blend of emotional pain and an unshakable belief in his own awesomeness. 
Sure, it’s not actually a Batman movie but The LEGO Batman Movie feels like exactly the sense of lightness (Batman’s password is something like “Iron Man sucks”) that DC could use.  I’d happily switch to this tone for a few DC movies. I’d take several hours of Lego Bruce Wayne in his bathrobe, making clicky noises with his mouth while reheating lobster in the microwave (which, if Lego could be nominated for Academy Awards, would be in Lego Batman’s Oscar reel) before I’d sit through another Suicide Squad (at which this movie also throws a little dig).
The LEGO Batman Movie might not offer quite the delight and awe of The LEGO Movie but it is still a laugh-out-loud bit of fun for superhero movie fan and Lego fan alike. B+
Rated PG for rude humor and some action. Directed by Chris McKay with a screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Jared Stern & John Wittington, The LEGO Batman Movie is an hour and 44 minutes long and distributed by Warner Bros. 





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