Who was the best Batman? Michael Keaton, Christian Bale or Ben Affleck? I think Will Arnett takes the cake as the greatest Batman ever, and “The LEGO Batman Movie” might just be the best Batman movie ever.Somehow, this animated delight manages to lovingly capture the ridiculousness of the Caped Crusader, in all his incarnations. It’s a giant, hilarious love letter to Batman that is stunning in how well it works. This LEGO form of the legendary superhero seems to capture just how ridiculous and yet captivating Batman can be. Reaching fans from past, current, and future generations. It magically seems to all come together and it just works.
The LEGO take on “The Bat” weighs heavily on the fact that he is alone and longs to be loved and to replace his family that was taken from him. Yet this version works hilariously. Eventually our hero realizes that he needs others, to help him not only as Batman, but also as Bruce Wayne. They explore this through his relationships with characters we all know and love such as The Joker, Robin, his butler Alfred and more.Yet the take on this movie seems to stick out like no other.
There’s The Joker, (played by Zach Galifianakis), who is just as troubled as Batman and absolutely obsessed with being the Caped Crusader’s No. 1 enemy. Who hilariously comes at Batman like an enraged ex-girlfriend who won’t go away until Batman acknowledges that, yes, he’s important. Or Robin, (played by Michael Cera), an attention-starved orphan who accidentally gets adopted by Batman and gives his character some much needed grounding. Yet their strange relationship works on screen. It is natural and funny, it isn’t rushed or forced – it just works. Which doesn’t seem to happen in a lot of Batman (or superhero) films.
Batman may be a superhero, but he’s lonely. He says that’s the way he likes it. We all know better, and these relationships are what works well with this movie. It’s that it knows how ridiculous Batman is, it focuses on that and thrives on it and plays off it. From Bane and his ridiculous voice, The Joker and Harley Quinn’s crazy relationship, to the relationship between Alfred and Batman. They all come across very open and direct and more importantly – hilarious and never boring.
Also, Batman hates Superman. Which was the premise of an entire long movie last year, but the LEGO version captures the conflict much better (and shorter). This Batman has to go down as the Batman film we have always wanted and deserved. Will Arnett takes the cake.