The Lego Batman Movie (***1/2) is rife with life, the universe, everything

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The Lego Batman Movie – 2017

Director Chris McKay
Screenplay  Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington
Starring (Voices)  Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes

It’s not as much a movie as a celebration of all things insanely tangential. The references are so thick you can go 2 seconds before getting another one. Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent / Two Face? Really?  Are you kidding?

Sure, we have Batman (Arnett) and Joker (Galifianakis) playing the bromance card harder than ever before. There is finally a Robin (Cera) who is a dream for everyone who wanted to yell at how odd the whole thing between he and Bruce Wayne feels. Barbara Gordon (Dawson) literally throwing her weight around. And do they ever get Alfred (Fiennes) wrong? They sure don’t miss a beat here.

It’s the type of film one could watch 100 times and find 1000 different things to enjoy or to be awed by. Even then, it’s more of a collection of moments than it is a film. There is the barest amount of hugging and learning. Thankfully everyone is laughing at romance all the way through.

The film is really a continuation of Arnett’s brilliant take on the caped crusader that we first saw in The Lego Movie in 2014. We get to see nicer versions of all of the bad guys and then let chaos abound. The dynamic between the principals is enough to keep the film’s plot above sea level. So confident were they in their choice for Barbara, I don’t think I have ever seen so much Batgirl in a film before.

It’s not a lot to go on, story wise, but it’s a ton of references that may not ever get old. A metric ton in scripter body weight can do that for you.There may be no issues with rewatch value here, but I think they’d be pushing it to make a second film. It feels like they poured everything into this one, along with way too much caffeine for the creators.

(***1/2 out of *****)

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