The Movie: The Lego Batman Movie
The Director: Chris McKay
The Cast: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakas, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Conan O'Brien, Doug Benson, Billy Dee Williams, Zoë Kravitz, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Hector Elizondo, and Mariah Carey.
The Story: With the fate of Gotham City hanging in the balance, Batman aka Bruce Wayne must come to terms with one of his biggest fears.
In the first Lego Movie, Batman had a relatively minor role although, within a petty sizable cast of characters, he turned out to be one of the most entertaining and popular among fans. Once this movie was announced, the only real question would be who he would be matched up against and, as it turns out, it's pretty much any and every villain you could possibly think of, including himself. Yes, Batman aka Bruce Wayne spends just as much time dealing with his own inner demons as he does fighting off...well...everyone. The team of writers involved with bringing this story to life quite honestly tops just about every other version we have ever seen...yeah, seriously.
Sure, this is basically a kids movie and the focus is on high speed antics, action, and mayhem, but we also see a Batman that really digs into his emotional issues and finds a way to overcome them with the help of some very special companions. At first, Bats is the stubborn and isolated dark knight who revels in his own glorious persona and he is quite unaware of the loneliness and fear that are keeping him from being a truly great hero and role model. The journey that he takes isn't one he wants to be on but he is forced into reevaluating who he is in order to save Gotham and the people he starts to realize are essential to who he is about to become. I don't want to go too far into this topic for fear of being overly philosophical about a cartoon but there really is a lot of heavy material added into the story and it's all handled so perfectly with a non stop barrage of campy humor to balance things out.
From the very beginning, the movie demands that you buckle up, strap yourselves in, and pull down the roll cage as the pacing is nitro infused and hits you with a non stop volley of action set pieces and humorous antics. The opening minutes go by so fast and there's so much going on, you feel like your head is going to explode (I mean that in a good way) although, things do slow down a bit here and there so you don't end up too exhausted from sensory overload. This is the type of movie that will get better with repeat viewings as there is just so much to see, so many inside jokes, and so many characters to keep track of. All of this and the animators do a fantastic job of fleshing out the Lego version of Gotham City with beautifully rendered visuals that pop with color and maintain the cuteness factor that is an essential piece of this franchise's success.
The Lego Batman Movie is a wonderfully entertaining animated film that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy. It's a great animated movie, it's a great comedy, it's a great Lego movie, it's a great super hero movie, and it's also a really, really great Batman story. Some might even say it's the best Batman of all. I will say it is definitely the most fun and it does a great job of incorporating every cinematic version of the character we have ever seen.
I did not see the movie in 3D although I'm sure it looks fantastic as animated films are a very natural fit for the added feature.