Best Batman Movie Ever?
If you view Batman as a genre (and I do), this is a stellar, timely entry with a message directed squarely at its fellow storytellers & fans who are stuck on the ’80s Dark Knight. And cot damn, did they (we) have it coming.
The Lego Batman Movie is a worthy sequel / sidequel to The Lego Movie – just as fun, made just as beautifully and lovingly, and, without its predecessor, it would have blown minds upon its release. Both share the same incredible animation style, and both are about friendship and family – but
where The Lego Movie is also about imagination, The Lego Batman Movie is about having more imagination about your fave superhero. (Oh, and accepting that no man is an island, the value of found family, letting people in, etc etc).
A big part of the reason Lego Batman worked so delightfully in The Lego Movie was that he was part of an ensemble – an understanding the film-makers have carried over into this movie. Building (heh) on Will Arnett‘s scene-stealing work in that movie, performances are great all round, most notably Ralph Fiennes‘ endearing Alfred, and Michael Cera who, far beyond in-joke casting, gives a beating-heart-of-the-movie performance as Robin.
Just as The Lego Movie was big on the idea that there’s room for all ideas of what Lego-building should be, The Lego Batman Movie is a celebration of all things Batman, all iterations. In comic book reader terms: this is less Frank Miller and more Grant Morrison.
… oh, and: Best Batman Movie Ever is another animated one – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. I should write a thing about that one at some point…