After the opening credits begin to roll, The LEGO Batman Movie’s fun nature begins to flourish. Hilarious commentary is provided by Batman himself (Will Arnett) over the opening credits and production/company logos.
The movie begins with a showcase of its best form: Funny call-backs to previous Batman films/TV shows, sarcasm and witty humor that appeals to kids and adults.
LEGO Batman stars plenty of well-known actors voicing LEGO characters in Gotham City. Batman must fend off the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and his army of baddies, including Harley Quinn (Jenny Slate) and Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz). Then, there’s Batman’s posse, voiced by Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth), Channing Tatum (Superman) and a familiar voice in Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon) among others.
The voice acting was on-par with The LEGO Movie, and bolstered by the ever-amusing Galifianakis, who shined brighter than his fellow cast members. Arnett is a wonderful Bruce Wayne alongside a classy-yet-humorous Fiennes, as well.
However, after the first half-hour, the film’s charm begins to wane and pander too heavily to children, making it hard for the older crowd to enjoy. The lulls slowly build and continue to drag the film once a certain ceremony takes place for Gotham City’s Commissioner Jim Gordon. Director Chris McKay (Robot Chicken) took this sequence to introduce many characters, like Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) and Barbara, but the jokes began to fall flatter and flatter. There’s only so many phrases that are hilarious in an over-exaggerated Batman voice.
The build-up to the final act could have benefitted from cuts, because there were times I was taken out of the film and pondered its length. Our theater was full to the brim with children, and they seemed to enjoy the sometimes lazy humor. The LEGO Movie did a better job of catering to both children and adults, and this is the area that LEGO Batman fails.
Fast-forward to the conclusion, and we’re getting familiar, quality jokes akin to the first act. The animation sequences for the final battle were great, which helped bring me back into the film.
Think of The LEGO Batman Movie as a sandwich with fresh, fluffy bread and, after you take a chomp out of it, the meat tastes old and unsatisfying.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but a bread analogy signifies how hungry I was for a better middle after a wonderful beginning and end to this sophomore LEGO film.
I viewed an early screening of this film thanks to Warner Bros. The LEGO Batman Movie runs 1 hour and 44 minutes and is rated PG. LEGO Batman premieres in North America on Feb. 10, 2017.