Batman is back on the big screen in the new computer-animated film “The Lego Batman Movie”, and you know I practically ran there! In whatever form my favorite fictional character appears in, whether it be film, television, comics or action figures, I am ready to partake.
Let’s face facts, one of the highlights of “The Lego Movie” was the appearance of Batman, with his charm, attitude and “dark knight” enthusiasm. The character proved so popular in the film, Warner Brothers wasted no time in preparing a film with the Lego version of Batman. The film opens with Batman’s never ending battle against the villains of Gotham City. The latest attack on the city is led by the Joker (Zach Galifianakis), who has recruited all the villains in Batman’s rouge gallery, featuring some even I have never heard of. During the fight Batman reveals to Joker he is not that important to him, causing the Joker to devise a plan to take down the Caped Crusader once and for all. The next day at a major event for the retiring Commissioner Gordon, Joker attacks the event with all the villains of Gotham City.
Of course, Bruce Wayne is at the event, but must slip off in order to change into the Batman costume. The attack is thwarted, and Batman bans Joker to the Phantom Zone (a prison dimension first seen in Superman comics). While in the Phantom Zone, Joker plans his ultimate revenge against The Dark Knight. Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, Bruce/Batman takes orphan Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) under his wing, and unwittingly agrees to adopt the future Robin. Batman is also dealing the Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), the future Batgirl, who has taken over for her father as police commissioner locks up Batman and the new Robin due to their recklessness regarding the Joker.
While in the Gotham City jail, the Joker has recruited other villains in the Phantom Zone, which include King Kong, Lord Voldemort from “Harry Potter”, the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of OZ”, the Gremlins, the Kraken from “Clash of the Titans”, and the Daleks from “Dr. Who.” Needless to say, Gotham City is about to be trashed unless our heroes can stop them. Thankfully, Barbara releases Batman and Robin, and joins them as Batgirl, and the trio convince the resident villains, including Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz) and Two-Face (Billy Dee Williams) to join them in the battle against Joker and his new cohorts. The battle ends with the expected victory by our heroes, but not before some epic fighting, Lego style. The film is a blast, and the Robin in this film is an overenthusiastic kid who beams brightness against the darker tone of Batman. With his huge glasses style mask, Robin is a definite highlight of the film, shiny yellow cape and all. However, as great as the Robin character is, he does not steal the thunder from Batman, who LOVES being Batman.
With his gadgets and awesome costume the Lego Batman will leave you wanting more. The “rivalry” between Batman and Superman (Channing Tatum) is also a highlight of the film, as Bats is constantly moaning about the attention the Man of Steel often attracts. The film even shows clips of the live-action Batman’s (Batmen?) as Alfred quips how checkered the Caped Crusaders past has been. The film also features an appearance by the Justice League, and I would love to see a Lego Justice League film. In the meantime, I am happy with the joyous, fun and exhilarating “The Lego Batman Movie”, so hop in your Batmobile and head to your local theater for a visit with The Dark Knight.
(Rated PG) 4 Batarangs (out of 4).