'The Lego Batman Movie' Preview: Funniest Addition To Batman Canon

Determined to have something to do, Batman allows Grayson to become sidekick Robin and sets out to send The Joker to the Phantom Zone (where Superman sent Zod).

Will Arnett returns as Batman. Instead of Bane hijacking a plane for a much bigger plan, it's the Joker (voiced with delight by Zach Galifianakis). Conan O'Brien is the Riddler. Will Arnett handles the gravel-voiced protagonist, but Michael Cera steals scenes as the endearingly tween Robin. Jonah Hill is the Green Lantern. While on the topic of the supporting team members, I should point out that the cast is brilliant: Will Arnett's gruff tones and Ralph Fiennes' dry delivery are the standout performances, in a film full of fantastic voice acting.

You sense that a lot of the funniest stuff is flying by too quickly to land: In the Commissioner's PowerPoint presentation explaining Batman's strengths and weaknesses, I was sorry that I only caught one of the former - "Excellent brooding" - before it whizzed on by. He still considers Superman one of his biggest adversaries, perhaps still holding on to some bad vibes after "Batman v Superman". John Powers Middleton, Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKay, Jill Wilfert, and Keith Malone, are serving as executive producers. But I'll bet somewhere Batman's creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger (who left us in 1998 and 1974) are smiling. So basically, two writing teams and a lone writer each wrote or changed this script in some way and all of them wrote the screenplay based on characters created in DC Comics.

2014's "The Lego Movie" was like that second thing. When the finale opens the floodgates for a tsunami of pop culture figures from outside the Batman universe, it's a sensory overload of geeky delight. It throws everything - and I mean everything - but a Lego kitchen sink onscreen, and does so with a wink. Why do you think Batman is usually portrayed as so serious and angry?




That being said, the Bat-beatboxing was bit much, and while Zach Galifianakis gives a decent performance as the Joker, he doesn't really bring anything new to the role, with most of the Joker's laughs coming from his superb animation. My only problem with it was the pace.

"The Lego Movie" was a more ambitious, even philosophical movie, but "The Lego Batman Movie" is more pure fun moment-to-moment.

The focus is on the amusing and the family, which makes "The Lego Batman Movie" a super choice for young and old alike to enjoy.

Jackie Chan also helped with the production beyond just voicing Master Wu. Cox studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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