2017 Certificate: u

Synopsis

Everything is super-awesome as the Lego version of DC Comics' greatest hero (in his opinion) swings into action to save Gotham City from The Joker (voiced by Zack Galifianakis) and his latest army of mega-villains. Again. This time, however, Batman (Will Arnett) finds his one-man, two-ego operation compromised by a feisty new police commissioner (Rosario Dawson) and some orphan kid who's desperate to become his sidekick (Michael Cera). But what the heck kind of superhero name is Robin? Maintaining the Lego movie standards of energy, anarchy, wit and imagination - whilst poking fun at every sci-fi and fantasy franchise between Mordor and the Matrix - this is another wonderfully constructive exercise.

Director

  • Chris McKay

Cast

  • Will Arnett

  • Michael Cera

  • Ralph Fiennes

  • Zach Galifianakis

  • Rosario Dawson

  • Jenny Slate

Review

Another day, another chance to deliver Gotham from villainy, treachery and the threat of total annihilation. Meh. It's all getting too easy for rock-star superhero Batman (Arnett).

Even The Joker (Galifianakis) is dismissed as another blowhard crook who's destined to fail. This gets right up the megalomaniac's nose. So off he goes to release pretty much every mega-villain that ever lived from the 'Phantom Zone'. (You know, the cosmic lock-up where Superman sent General Zod. Remember? Doesn't matter.)

Meanwhile back at the batcave - and other parts of Wayne Manor - Batman is mooching round with nobody to talk to except his computer and his trusty butler Alfred (Fiennes). Which is just how he likes it. Because Batman doesn't do relationships.

That's why the Justice League has their annual party without him. Losers.

But that begins to change when he gets distracted by Gotham's new police chief Barbara Gordon (Dawson)... and agrees to take custody of a teenage orphan called Dick Grayson (Cera), who's a big Bruce Wayne fan.

In time, they both get under his skin. But not too much time, because no sooner has Dick picked out his ever-so slightly camp crime-fighting costume and rechristened himself 'Robin' than back comes the Joker with an army of baddies, the likes of which the world has never seen. At least not in the same movie.

Like a free-entry day at Comic-Con, Gotham is suddenly under siege not only from Batman's regular nemeses (Harley Quinn, Penguin, Bane, Two-Face, Scarecrow, et al) but any movie fiend to have come within a city block of a Warner Bros film lot... as well as some who haven't.

Thus we have Lords Voldemort and Sauron, several Agent Smiths and a plane-load of Gremlins running amok with King Kong and a fleet of Daleks. It is, quite literally, a riot.

As with the first Lego movie, the visual bedlam is built on a solid foundation of bone-dry, self-deprecating wit. However, with the original's element of surprise diminished, there's a greater reliance on eye-pummelling action.

But while this is more obviously for the benefit of junior viewers, for nine gags out of ten, the plastic fantastics comfortably out-deadpan Deadpool.

As a family show, the writers also remember to mix a little emotional fibre into the sundae. The expressions of teamwork and companionship are quite touching.

Some knowledge of Bat-lore is advisable, but for lovers of sardonic asides, super-silliness and sock-pow-biff animation, this is guaranteed to lighten up the darkest of knights.

Elliott Noble