A joyous romp in the bottomless pit of Batman lore. It shares the hypercommercialisation and overt focus on merchandising sales of the Schumacher films, but binds it with a Nolan-esque desire to tell a coherent story and character arc about Batman (and perhaps a Snyder-esque desire to prod and play with his iconography in creative ways along the way).
Viewers are repeatedly beaten over the head with the message and character arc of the film, but given the more child-friendly focus, and the fact that the message is one grounded in proper observations on the Batman character and his history, I find it hard to begrudge that. The focus on bat-lore of yore goes beyond the frequent references to other iterations of Batman, as the very conceit of the film is in some ways a parody of his position in pop culture.
It’s a self-aware, good-natured teasing of the character, but also a good story in its own right. At times it does seem to lose focus of its story in favour of an endless litany of references (not even always jokes, but just plain references), but it never quite hits the point of being frustratingly meta, and in any case, the cast do admirable work keeping things entertaining. Will Arnett is truly fantastic and hilarious in the lead role.
While not quite as big of a welcome surprise as “The Lego Movie” was, “The Lego Batman Movie” is still a great deal of fun, and a keen, playful experiment with the glut of DC lore. I give it three and a half batarangs, and a Scuttler.