Directed by Chris McKay

Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers. Jared Stern, John Whittington

Story by Seth Grahame-Smith

Batman Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger

Superman Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

Music By Lorne Balfe

Edited by David Burrows, John Venzon, and Matt Villa

Theme song “Who’s The (Bat)Man” by Patrick Stump

Filmed on location in teeny Metropolis
Fang: voice-over begins immediately, before visuals appear. Extra scene during first part of closing credits. Stinger: none.

Batman blah blah blah blah! Just a placeholder in case I don’t make it through the entire movie. The LEGO Movie was all I heard about for months and I only made it through about fifteen minutes. So, I’m allowing Adam Sandler’s Dracula to stand-in for me right there until I get in at midnight tomorrow night, actually Friday morning. You get what I mean. Until then… I made it through the movie. You know what that means, this is going to be a review of praise. Sorry about the migraine delay yesterday; it’s still here, but for you I will soldier through! Here we go.

There is no way around it: this is Will Arnett’s movie. Of course, the Batman is the main character, but how many times has another actor stolen the show? I’m talking about you Emily Blunt. In a film with two Oscar winners she completely snatched the spotlight away from them in The Devil Wears Prada. Everyone knows how her careers went from there.Jonathan Lipnicki has retained viewers hearts with his little round glasses, facts, and spiky hair in Jerry Maguire. The quotes hit the cornball level long ago, but Jonathan just keeps getting better and he vaulted over the child curse the the ease of Peter Billingsley; he is one attractive young man. Plus, his acting dance card is full for the next several years.

This time, the starring actor steals the show. Bigly. All the characters have great lines, because all the lines are good to great, frankly, but Will Arnett’s stony voice and improvisation are wicked great. Anyone who saw him in Arrested Development knows his dry, deadpan delivery is hysterical and when he is give a chance to riff on almost eighty years of worshipful character incarnations? It’s hard to catch your breath and wrap your head around what they are allowed to get away with on the franchise at the same time. Holy bat shit build up! (Really, how deep is that by now? Dung beetles must be settling down by the hearth on bitter nights.) Every jab you’ve ever thought of taking but never would say out loud for fear of attack by trolls (Hi, trolls! Fuck you.) and waaaay more than ever occured to you come at you fast and hard from the Batman himself.

But, is he alone? He works alone, as we all know. He is a rock, he is an island. Paul Simon know him so well. Don’t get excited! There is no LEGO Simon & Garfunkle in the Park. Sorry if I put that in your head. Still, a superhero is going to attract fans and wannabe superheroes like Wooly Willy attracts iron filings. Oh, and enemies. Lots of enemies if you’ve been with the Batman all your life, like me, you can’t remember half of them. (What a disappointment to see one of the greatest character portrayals ever in the franchise turned over to a stand-up I just can’t take.) Yes, I saw the world’s most campy series in 1966 and his enemies included one King Tut (Victor Buono), a character who simply vanished after the show ended. Never to be seen again. Or maybe…

Only Robin (Michael Cera) and Alfred (Ralph Fiennes) are allowed into the inner sanctum of the Bat Cave. Robin is just barely tolerated. After all, Bruce Wayne accidentally adopted the boy only because he was paying no attention, as per usual, because there was something of far more interest elsewhere. That’s kind of Batman/Bruce Wayne’s M.O., no one and, especially, not some starstruck orphan babbling at him is going to break through his disinterest barrier. This time, that habit of zoning out landing him with a kid running all over the manor. The Batman a father? I shudder at the thought. Tell me we all do.

But he may need his new son’s assistance, and more, for this one… The Joker is planning to take over Metropolis! What do you mean “Oh.”? Why are you going back to what you were doing? Did you hear what I said, The Batman’s greatest nemesis is coming to take over Metropolis! You’re incredibly blasé about this approaching terror, just because the Joker has tried this untold times. All right, but has he brought every villain has ever faced, and then some? Wait until you see a chilling LEGO army of bad guys and gals headed your way, leaded nothing but devastation in their wake — devastation and wicked one liners that are going to go right over your children’s heads.

That’s right. This is another movie PG-rated movie that is clearly going to bring in the kids (witness the LEGO Batman sets given out to the first people to buy tickets to the film (Of course, I got mine!) that are clearly marked for ages 7-14. That age group is going to love the visuals and the less subtle humour. There enough full-blown musical numbers, gadgets, action sequences, and scores of good guys and even more bad boys to count off in the crowd scenes the keep everyone entertained. For someone like me though, it’s the continual jabs at the entire Batman epic, such as his age (isn’t he supposed to?), philanthropy, Dark Side, and many versions of himself. There is nothing better than an institution that knows it can survive being the subject of jokes and parody — without igniting a Twitterstorm.`

Of course, if you’re a Batman fan, even a sometime fan, you will undoubtedly get even more out of the film than I did, just because you’ll recognise more of the villains, get more of the inside jokes, and just have a hell of a time. A lot of critics aren’t in love with The LEGO Batman Movie. I’m not like most critics, you may have noticed. I’m not going to pretend I didn’t have a great time watching this film. From the first line in Will Arnett’s ridiculously deep, rough voice, I was laughing or marveling at the dialogue and the sight gags in the background that I really need to see again to catch all of because my attention was focussed on the main characters. The film is witty, goofy, droll, and dead on point.

This movie got me for the same reason I love Deadpool; they don’t take themself or the genre seriously. At the same time, they gives you all the action and goodish v. evilish we’ve come to expect from our superhero films. I hasten to point out you shouldn’t take your children to see Deadpool until, let’s see…they can drive themselves. For now, they are going to be bugging you for the soundtrack of The LEGO Batman Movie before the film is even over. They are going to eat this up with a spoon and you are going to be suffering the unbe-fucking-lievable agony of stepping on LEGOs even more often.

Aahh. It’s all worth it for a movie you can all love for different reason, isn’t it?

Fang: voice-over begins immediately, before visuals appear. Extra scene during first part of closing credits. Stinger: none.