'The Lego Batman' movie exceeds expectations, finds comedic, nostalgic balance


By Cassidy Delahunty, executive entertainment editor
As much as I didn’t think I was going to,  I did legitimately enjoy the first “Lego Movie.” It was cute, it was funny, but it seemed like a gimmick that couldn’t be repeated, in the way many cute, funny kids movies are.
“The Lego Batman Movie” proved beyond any doubt that the “gimmick” of Lego movies was going to stick.
With the relationship between an ever-cynical Batman and an attention-seeking Joker set up like the relationship between the two leads in a romantic comedy, “The Lego Batman Movie” skillfully replicates and combines the nostalgia and originality that made the first “Lego Movie” such a hit. Complete with emotional eye contact and the Joker’s attempts to get Batman to say, “I hate you too,” this movie had me breaking into laughter throughout.
The movie opens on Batman (played by Will Arnett) skillfully putting a swift end to another one of the Joker’s schemes. After defeating the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) once more and returning to his Batcave in solitude, Batman reflects on how much he loves his life before being forced to attend a fancy retirement party for the old police commissioner. After promptly falling in love with the new police commissioner (Rosario Dawson) and accidentally adopting a child (Michael Cera), Batman finds himself falling into the perfect recipe for a classic family movie. The themes of family and friendship tug at the heartstrings without fail, even considering the fact that none of the four main characters are actually related in any way.
This is the point in the review where I usually talk about some small downside the movie had, but I can honestly say “The Lego Batman Movie” had none. The entire movie was witty and silly, the comedic timing was perfect, the casting was spot on, and “that joke that probably shouldn’t have been there” that you expect from all kids’ movies was just subtle enough. This was the first sequel to a kids’ movie that I’ve seen in years that didn’t make me immediately start to look down on the entire franchise. “Impressed” is a word that comes to mind.
So here’s to hoping the franchise can keep up the charm without sacrificing the quality for “The Lego Ninjago Movie.” There’s a little more than enough potential.