"I like to fight around."
The Lego Movie came to be a bit of a surprise to everyone, I think. Personally, my expectations were low, and I figured it would be a bland cash-grab, in the same vein as the recently released Trolls, or any straight-to-DVD movie of the past decade. Which made its release so intriguing: the movie ended up being a hit, both critically and commercially. Warner Bros. quickly set about announcing a sequel to that movie, as well the spin-offs of The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie. I don't know if the magic of these films will last forever, but I can say that The Lego Batman lives up to its predecessor, and is the best Batman movie to release in the past nine years.
What makes The Lego Batman movie so engaging for me personally is that it doesn't take itself seriously for a second. This is common in the realm of children's films, but it is especially refreshing in this instance because for so long now, the Batman mythos has taken itself too seriously. It seems like the writers of Lego Batman knew this, because they take Batman's attributes and crank them up to 11.
Batman is essentially perfect in the Lego universe. He saves the day every time, everyone in Lego Gotham is a fan of him, and he always has a witty quip for the villains that try to take him down. But he's also lonely, and vulnerable in a way that isn't riddled with the angst of Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, which makes it feel more honest. Batman doesn't want to be popular as much as he wants to be loved, and the movie goes about showing this throughout the film with a nuance that I wasn't expecting - but should have, given the quality of the original Lego Movie.
That's not to say that Lego Batman is a constant trip of emotions. It's also laugh-out-loud funny. It succeeds on that Pixar-like level of appeal to both children and adults and carries with it some amazing references to Batman lore that I wasn't expecting. Diehard fans will be pleased with the range of characters and gadgetry on display in this film - doubly so because Lego Batman is a technical marvel. The graphical prowess on display during some of the more chaotic set-pieces are a sight to behold, and the visual filters let me take in every inch of the screen without getting overwhelmed. It's hard to describe the look of these movies because their style is so unique, but I will say that trailers simply don't do it justice. Get thee to a theater.
I've only had nonstop praise for The Lego Batman Movie because frankly, that's all it deserves. I liked it even more than The Lego Movie. And considering how funny The Lego Ninjago Movie trailer is, all I can say is: bring on more Denmark-toy-based cinematography!