Blu-ray Review: The Lego Batman Movie

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Before it takes a third-act turn into mushiness, The Lego Batman Movie is a fun, kid-friendly animated adventure. As a spin-off of the massively popular The Lego Movie, this one works just fine. Will Arnett returns as the snarkiest, poutiest Bruce Wayne ever to grace the silver screen. The plot is really just a clothesline upon with the nonstop gags are hung, recalling the zip of the classic Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker spoofs. Many of the jokes are funny. Maybe most of them, actually, but that's the thing—Lego Batman requires multiple viewings in order to catch everything.

The Lego Batman Movie, in the wake of its $310 million (worldwide) gross, is now available to own on Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (also Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Digital HD).

Speaking of that flimsy plot, it comes down to a battle between Batman and Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). The freedom and safety of Gotham City is at stake. On the surface it isn't all that imaginative, but the twist in Lego Batman is that there's something of a bromance between the hero and villain. Joker's pride is deeply wounded after Batman assures him he would sleep perfectly well in a world without him. Turns out the Joker was under the impression that he and Batman shared a symbiotic relationship. 
Lego Batman 1.jpg Eventually this whole conceit becomes a bit overbearing. By the time Lego Batman unveils its very own attempt at an "Everything Is Awesome"-type signature tune, a cloying number called "Friends Are Family," you'd be forgiven for thinking you're watching an episode of Barney & Friends. But again—it's for kids, so we can cut it some slack. I just would've preferred less hand-holding and more intrigue.

It's also a bit indulgent in length at an hour and 45 minutes. Let's not forget: there was already a movie very much along these lines, 2013's direct-to-video Lego Batman: The Movie - DC Superheroes Unite, that was managed to pack in plenty of yuks'n'action within 71 minutes. It's been said often, but sometimes less is more.

Special features: there are four new "Animated Shorts" (about two minutes each), plus The Master: A Lego Ninjago Short (which preceded Lego Batman in theaters, teasing the forthcoming Ninjago feature film). There are six featurettes, the main one being "One Brick at a Time," that total about 30 minutes. Director and crew audio commentary is here, which probably won't pique the interest of the film's target demo—but older viewers curious about the technical aspects of creating a Lego movie will appreciate this. Deleted scenes and a slew of promotional material round out the package.


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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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