By Domi Watkins
The folks behind this franchise definitely know how to deliver a fast-paced, hilarious and action-packed animated film that adults and children will enjoy. Jokes and pop culture references fly fast and furiously, and adults are likely to get a kick out of the several references to earlier Batman movies and TV shows. Every action sequence crackles with childlike energy, making viewers feel as if they’re in the hands of a kid playing with his toys. It’s incredible how many different, inventive ways the Lego pieces and characters are used to build, take apart, and rebuild within their universe. It’s also important to credit the writers on their superb skills, because the dialogue is filled with witty comebacks and snappy banter that will leave the audiences cracking up in their seats.
Will Arnett reprises his role as the egotistical Batman and has no qualms about taking the spotlight. Michael Cera plays the chirpy, wide-eyed Dick Grayson (Robin) and Rosario Dawson supplies us with the just right voice to play the sophisticated yet tough Barbara Gordon. Ralph Fiennes is amusing as Batman’s butler Alfred, and Zach Galifianakis is a great mix of quirky and menacing as the Joker.
Throughout the film, Batman spends most of the time trying to live in solitude. He’s driven to the point of obsession to be left alone and takes pride in upholding his title as Gotham City’s hero. When the Joker proclaims himself as Batman’s arch-nemesis, the hero blanches, not willing to commit to such a label. When Barbara suggests that Gotham cops partner with Batman rather than relying on him alone to deal with the supervillain, he scoffs. And when he discovers he accidentally adopted Robin as his son, it takes Batman an entire week to even notice he’s living in the mansion. So over about an hour and 45 minutes, Batman must learn to let people in, even the villains that clearly bring him great joy. And through the efforts of the brilliant minds behind this movie, he does it ever so awesomely.