With big changes on the horizon from the new Commissioner of Gotham City (Rosario Dawson), there’s not much room for a lone vigilante. Finding himself unfulfilled and alone in his island mansion, Batman (Will Arnett) accidentally adopts a son (Michael Cera) and is forced to face his fears of opening himself up to others in order to defeat The Joker and his army of villains.

Back in 2014, The LEGO Movie made Batman the punchline to many-a-joke. Three years later, he’s back as their leading man and taking the weight of the franchise in his very own spin-off. Opening to an action spectacular, Batman takes on every DC comics bad guy you can think of (and even ones you never thought existed) at the hands of The Joker (Zach Galifianakis). His victory is short lived, however, with the arrival of Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Dawson) who vows to make Batman work alongside police. Finding himself all alone, with The Joker plotting his badness plan yet having been banished to the ‘Phantom Zone’, Batman is forced to come to terms with his unwillingness to work with others and recognise The Joker is his arch nemesis in order to save the city once again.

Historically, Batman has been portrayed cinematically as a husky-voiced, mean and moody vigilante – the darker the better. Consequently, rubber nipples, temperature related puns or general comedic value has always been deemed by critics as poor. What happens then when you combine conventions of The Dark Knight with the witty humour of LEGO and Will Arnett’s tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the winged avenger?

Directed by Robot Chicken’s own Chris McKay, the LEGO Batman Movie is certainly not intended for children alone. Filled with references to the live-action Batman franchise (and in particular The Dark Knight, 2008), it celebrates all things Batman and LEGO combined. Through it all, however, there are inevitably scenes just for kids. As such, these will need to be taken with a pinch of salt. As all children’s stories do, there are of course many lessons for Batman along the way – as well as a soundtrack to match.

Through all the action scenes, dry and slapstick jokes – the film has a great deal of heart; the primary message being teamwork, family and friendship. Whilst Batman is more than happy to soak up the limelight as Gotham City’s solo superhero, he comes home alone and spends his nights watching old movies and reheating his lobster thermidor. This consequently leads to Bruce Wayne accidentally adopting an orphan, Dick Grayson (Cera), who in turn discovers the hidden Batcave. Naturally, Dick is keen to help his new adopted father and longs to be accepted as his sidekick. However, when the threat of The Joker’s army weighs in, the team grows further – introducing Alfred the Butler and Bat Girl – much to Batman’s dismay. Since it’s a children’s film, we have grown to expect predictable building blocks and naturally, the newly assembled team must work together in order to save the day. Unfortunately, this creates a slight dip in the narrative and is, arguably, drawn out longer than necessary. However, due to the laughs and spectacular visuals, this is easily forgiven.

Ultimately, it’s near on impossible not to crack at smile at this self-aware, comedic take on DC’s most famous superhero. Whilst we may have been seemingly bombarded with Batman in cinemas in recent months with the revival of The Justice League, LEGO presents a refreshing representation of the winged vigilante unlike we’ve ever seen before. Packed full of memorable quotes as well as being visually impeccable, The LEGO Batman Movie is as entertaining as it is meaningful. Whether you’re a comic book fan or a stand-alone LEGO lover, the film offers a little something for everyone.

Movie Review: The LEGO Batman Movie
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About The Author

Sophie Elizabeth

Sophie is a film blogger from South London with a degree in Film Theory and Major Production. Sophie currently works in digital marketing but in her spare time you'll find her writing reviews or at the cinema. Sophie loves all things Star Wars and Hollywood but having specialized in the Horror genre, monsters are her first love. She'll watch absolutely anything given the chance - you can find her also on her blog, http://www.popcornandglitter.co.uk Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophieathawes