Director: Chris McKay
Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera (VOICES)
Release Date: June 13, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble—LEGO Batman—stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham City, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.
Bringing back everyone’s favorite star of ‘The LEGO Movie’ for his own feature length animated movie, ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ takes viewers into the hilarious world of LEGO Bats as while carrying on with this daily awesome hero activities, Batman soon begins to feel something missing, even if he refuses to admit that anyone else matters to him. Once villain (but not his arch nemesis) Joker gets fed up with Batman’s unwillingness to admit how important their relationship is, Batman finds himself slowly starting to discover that he may in fact be a bit lonely after all. Once a new ward and some other humorous mishaps pile into his lap, Batman will soon have to tackle his own problems while also saving the world yet again after Joker takes things to a new catastrophic level.
‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ follows the tone and cleverly crafted goofiness that amazed viewers everywhere in ‘The LEGO Movie’ and this time around takes viewers into the hilarious antics of the most splendidly ridiculous Batman in ages, thanks largely to the absolute perfection Will Arnett offers in his voice portrayal of the character. Not only is ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ hilarious, goofy and overly action packed, it never forsakes the heart and subtle kindness that helps to make these LEGO feature films so remarkable. Delving into some heartfelt issues amidst all of the hilarious antics, it explores some true family values and other elements that shouldn’t upset parents in the slightest, while miraculously never allowing the crude goofiness and true heart to offset each other. Featuring a healthy collection of DC characters and a great deal beyond including such noteworthy characters done LEGO style as Sauron, the Gremlins and plenty more; keeping things largely focused to the world of DC but happy to let some other notable franchises squeeze in to assist with delivering ample over the top fun from start to finish.
Guided along wonderfully by director Chris McKay (TV’s Robot Chicken) and sporting a well selected voice cast that includes a number of fairly well known individuals including Will Arnett reprising his voice role of Batman from ‘The LEGO Movie’, along with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Rosario Dawson (Sin City), Ralph Fiennes (the Harry Potter franchise) and more. Anyone who enjoyed ‘The LEGO Movie’ as well as its clever and hilarious take on Batman will definitely want to be sure to check out ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ when you have the chance; it’s another ridiculously enjoyable and mostly family friendly ride that retains the same heart and care and is well worth your time. The fellow 3D enthusiasts out there will also want to try to make a point of checking out the Blu-ray 3D release; similar to the 3D presentation on ‘The LEGO Movie’ it offers a clean, detailed and nearly flawless 3D presentation with plenty of depth and fun effects that leap out of the screen, albeit again in a more subtle manner which can be a pleasant change from the aggressive 3D presentations of many films.
Overall, ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ is nonstop, family friendly fun that offers plenty of goofy, over the top action and no shortage of hilarious antics, as well as a sweet, heartwarming story that manages to contribute a bit of good while mixing in tons of mildly rude and humorous tidbits for good measure. It all forms together perfectly into a wonderful film for the whole family that kids young and old (this means you fellow adults) will likely want to revisit time and again. The fellow 3D fans should also be pleased with the clean, gorgeous and grin inducing 3D presentation that subtly compliments the film throughout. ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ definitely comes highly recommended, particularly for anyone who enjoyed ‘The LEGO Movie’ or simply appreciates well done animated family films (like myself); you definitely won’t want to miss out on this fantastic ride, it should to prove well worth the cost of a rental if nothing else for those hesitant to drop the funds on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray 3D release of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. This 3D presentation looks great and provides a brightly colored, sharply detailed and smooth presentation from start to finish with solid depth and frequent bits of the scenery appearing to leap out of the screen, yet in a more tame manner that never tends to throw many effects straight in your face, instead embracing the format to merely highlight and compliment the animated beauty which works great. It holds up at every point throughout, suffers no noteworthy faults along the way and should easily please the fellow 3D fans.
The 2D Blu-ray release which is also included in the 3D Blu-ray combo pack features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation also representing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The various scenes that I had the chance to scan through on the standard Blu-ray disc looked equally fantastic in their own right, with the release providing a warmly lit, richly detailed and overall quite impressive high definition video presentation that shouldn’t disappoint.
As was the case with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Blu-ray 3D release of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’, the standard 2D Blu-ray disc of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack, while the 3D Blu-ray disc again features a somewhat less impressive (yet still very capable) 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. As this review focuses mainly on the 3D release, let me first say that the included 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack certainly sounds pretty great for the most part and provides a crisp, clean and fairly active audio presentation throughout; taking advantage of all five available channels in order to immerse the viewer within the music, while also sending some action elements, crowd chatter and more throughout the various speakers, and never causing any dialogue that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted in any way. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack which is provided on the standard disc on the other hand is unsurprisingly superior, a definite step up and (while I’m not Atmos capable and only able to view with the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core utilized) is a notably more aggressive and spacious audio presentation that sounds wonderful.
The Blu-ray 3D (and 2D) release of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ includes a number of enjoyable extras, the entirety of which can be found on the standard 2D Blu-ray disc. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with the Director and Crew’, in addition to ‘4 New Animated Shorts’: ‘Dark Hoser’, ‘Batman Is Just Not That into You’, ‘Cooking With Alfred’ and ‘Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That?’ (running approximately 8 minutes in length altogether), plus a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 7 minutes combined) and ‘The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short’ (approximately 5 minutes). We are also treated to a number of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘One Brick at a Time: Making The LEGO Batman Movie’ (approximately 16 minutes), ‘Rebrick Contest Winners’ (3 minutes), ‘Inside Wayne Manor’ Hosted By Batman naturally (3 minutes), ‘Introducing The Cast and Crew of The LEGO Batman Movie’ (4 minutes), ‘Behind the Bricks’ (4 minutes), and ‘Me and My Minifig’ (1 minute). A collection of ‘Promotional Material’ for the movie is also provided which includes the following videos: ‘Trailer 1 with Will Arnett Intro’ (approximately 2 minutes), ‘Trailer 2’ (3 minutes), ‘Trailer 3’ (3 minutes), ‘LEGO Life Trailer’ (1 minute), ‘Follow Me Online’ (1 minute), ‘Don’t Skip’ (1 minute), ‘Happy Holidays Jingle’ (1 minute), ‘Batsby New Year’s’ (1 minute), ‘Team Cutdown’ (2 minutes), and the ‘Comic-Con Panel’ (3 minutes).