In my Top 10 Worst Films of 2016 list, I said: “I fear the future of D.C. Comics movies.” Both “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” only cared about updates and miscasting, whereas “The Lego Batman Movie” is a brilliant satire on the D.C. Universe. Not just those two turkeys, but for all the “Batman” movies, including the Adam West television series.
“The Lego Batman Movie” is a spin-off of Will Arnett’s Lego Batman character from “The Lego Movie,” one of the most visually stunning and deeply moving non-Disney animated films of the new decade. It’s not up to its full potential, because of how quick some scenes can be, but it still possesses its heart, humor, and visuals.
This Batman, even as Bruce Wayne, wears his mask in his own mansion, brags about how cool he is, and refuses to tell the Joker (voiced by Zack Galifianakis) he hates him. Instead, he says: “Superman is my greatest enemy.” You get the joke. He also refuses to admit to his butler Alfred (voiced by Ralph Fiennes) he is lonely. He unknowingly adopts a spunky teenage orphan named Dick Grayson (voiced by Michael Cera), who becomes his partner Robin, and he ends up under the watchful eye of the new police commissioner Barbara Gordon (voiced by Rosario Dawson). All these characters team up, when the Joker unleashes non D.C. villains, including King Kong (voiced by Seth Green) and Sauron (voiced by Jemaine Clement) from another dimension.
“The Lego Batman Movie” continues to amaze me with its visual approach to the world of Legos, and the satire of the D.C. Universe. It spoofs them just right, and assembles a talented voice cast. Arnett shines once again as Batman, Galifianakis adds his sweetness as the Joker, Cera is very funny when he whispers, Dawson has the kind of spunk as Elizabeth Banks’ Wildstyle in “The Lego Movie,” and Fiennes’s voice is more convincing than Jeremy Irons as Alfred. You also add Jenny Slate (as Harley Quinn) and Channing Tatum (as Superman) in the mix. There may be a bit too much energy in some scenes, but like “The Lego Movie,” it’s funny, and quite touching.