'Lego Batman Movie' rewards longtime fans of the comics

Jenna Warner
February 10, 2017

On "The LEGO Batman Movie, ' I brought in one of my favorite stop-motion animators from "Robot Chicken" - her influence on the animation and her character animation was so great that I thought she was absolutely essential to making this movie". With a blend of computer animation and actual Lego bricks, the dizzying Lego Batman, like the first Lego Movie, bursts at the edges of the screen: It's goofy, chipper, fast moving, and colorful, and the antithesis of any other Batman movie made this millennium.

Directed by Chris McKay, a veteran of Adult Swim's Robot Chicken and the co-editor and animation supervisor of The Lego Movie, Lego Batman finds its title character repeatedly saving Gotham City but returning home to a lonely existence, where he eats reheated lobster thermidor (in one of the movie's most dryly amusing scenes) and insists he doesn't need anyone in his life.

Though this film is meant to be an animated comedy, there is a great drama depth that lasts with you long after the films ends.

It's lonely being the best, and don't I know it. Lego Batman knows it, too, and he's adrift inside his vast hilltop estate.

Instead, he lives for his nights of crime fighting against the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and his henchmen but refuses to admit that he needs the Joker, that he's emotionally addicted to their never-ending battle. Imagine if Rob Gronkowski were Batman.

Like many previous versions, this one focuses on Batman's isolation. It's a fair point.

Fans of the Nolan and Bale Batman movies will share the fun, then perhaps go back to cocooning with their Dark Knight trilogy Blu-rays.

Everything was awesome for Warner Bros. when The LEGO Movie built its way to a $258 million domestic gross. They show up, even if it's just for a fleeting moment in this movie. "Demetri, what about Gentleman Ghost?" Yes. This was a new spin on Batman and I loved every minute of watching this movie. Clearly they do. This movie merely revels in their absurdity.

There are riffs on Michael Jackson, the "You complete me" scene from Jerry Maguire and the wry observation that Gotham City is still the most crime-ridden metropolis on the planet, even with Batman doing his vigilante thing.

Until that happens though, we have The Lego Batman Movie.

The Mercury has teamed up with Weston Odeon to offer three lucky readers the chance to win a family ticket to see Lego Batman at a time of your choice.

Demetri Ravanos is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association and has reviewed movies for Raleigh and Company, Military1.com and The Alan Kabel Radio Network.

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