“The Lego Batman Movie” is a movie inherently designed to sell toys, while simultaneously flaunting two of the most popular toy brands in one shiny package for 100 minutes while quietly hoping that the sheer entertainment value becomes enough to cancel out any cynicism. The gamble pays off, as “The Lego Batman Movie” is not only the most joyous interpretation of this character ever put to film, but also the most heartfelt. When you peel back the many layers of satire and pop culture references that this film has to offer, you start to understand that at the core there’s a genuinely thoughtful character study of Batman going on. In telling a story about Batman’s reluctance to take Robin under his literal wing, his insistence on working alone and his adamant refusal to acknowledge the Joker as a worthy nemesis, the film uses those opportunities to explore some of our hero’s deepest psychological fears.
Diehard Batman fans will appreciate all of the little in-jokes scattered throughout, while anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of who Batman is can still have a great time watching it. Thanks to previous films, television series, cartoons, videogames and comics, most audiences are already more familiar with Batman than any other superhero, and the filmmakers wisely used that to their advantage. “The Lego Batman Movie” simply exemplifies the very best of the genre it parodies.