Lego Batman delivers entertaining commentary on the Caped Crusader through unbridled childlike anarchy.
“Bane is feeling warm. And fuzzy!”
If The Lego Movie was a gloriously expansive pop culture pastiche, then The Lego Batman Movie is its geek culture equivalent. McKay, McKenna, Graeme-Smith & co take a bevy of iconic heroes and villains (not just from the Batman mythos) and throw them into their own little sandbox of multi-coloured brick madness. Ordinarily, this kind of noncompliant mix-and-matching would trigger my inner-nerd (those brief Iron Man references still did – it’s a DC film dammit) – but it perfectly captures that pure, unrestrained elation we all had as kids playing with our toys. It’s a beautiful brand of childlike anarchy that conjures fond memories of youth – when it didn’t matter which corporate overlord had the rights to your favourite characters.
The film is a little goofy at times. It goes heavy on the child-friendly angle (far more so than its predecessor seemed to), and some of the more obtuse humour does dry out along the way. The nuance and intelligent commentary this time all comes from the character of Batman himself. By parodying this rich, depressed orphan who runs around beating criminals up in a cape, The Lego Batman Movie also serves as a vital exploration of Bruce Wayne’s character – celebrating his quirks, ridiculing his history, and playing around with his 77-year-old principles to great comedic effect.
[spoilers] I feel like the writers initially started out intending to make Barbara Gordon the love interest of this film, saw the backlash to DC Animated’s The Killing Joke disaster, and then hastily made changes with the ending – because Batman’s “platonic” thing came out of nowhere. It’s for the best though. There’s so much more to Batgirl than being a Batman love interest – and it’s honestly a little creepy too.