Brick Fanatics shared our review here, awarding three stars out of five and referring to the film as ‘content to merely ride the purple coattails of its predecessor, swapping innovation for a story that might not be full of surprises, but is still entertaining enough to be worthwhile’.
The general reaction to The LEGO Batman Movie has been positive, with critics tending to view it as less polished than The LEGO Movie, but full of enough amusing Batman references to be worthwhile. Here is a look at some of the noteworthy reviews with key points highlighted.
The Guardian cites the movie’s comedic chops as what makes it worthy of four out of five stars, declaring that ‘It doesn’t have the heart, the depth or the novelty of the first Lego movie, but it is relentlessly, consistently funny – which excuses everything.’ The summary acknowledges that again, producer Dan Lin and his team have turned what could have been a 90 minute commercial into something more. ‘The fact that the movie can satisfy its commercial imperatives, smuggle in some satirical jabs, and wrap it all up in an apparently irreverent, self-satirising comedy for all ages could be viewed as admirable or sinister, but this is, undeniably, a sophisticated product.’
Den of Geek particularly noted the level of Batman enthusiasm on display throughout the film. ‘There’s particular delight in the many ways that The LEGO Batman Movie references and skewers the Batman movies that came before it, not least in a glorious exchange between the Dark Knight and The Joker, that takes aim at his plots from both 1989 and 2005’. The website did find the film’s main shortcoming to be the straightforward narrative when compared to its predecessor, suggesting it is weaker by comparison. ‘What we get in place of that are dazzling, fast, furious action sequences, the screen filling with bricks, blasts and colour. All well and good, but if anything, it gets a little over-busy.’
Another four out of five stars come from the Daily Telegraph, where the movie is deemed better than the current live-action DC movies. The review praises the ability of the filmmakers to take so many ideas and for them together so successfully. ‘There are around four (great) films’ worth of action and jokes here, crammed into a story so streamlined it might have been assembled in the Lockheed wind tunnel.’ It seems another AFOL has been recruited, as the review ends with the words, ‘I watched, I laughed, I ordered the sets.’
The Playlist bucks the trend somewhat, arguing that The LEGO Batman Movie is a ‘missed opportunity’. Reviewer Oliver Lyttelton acknowledges the strong opening third, but finds the plot to follow the super hero movie formula, noting that ‘the jokes, which skew on the whole much younger than the last film did (no bad thing, given that this is a movie about a Batman made of Lego), sort of run out in the second half, replaced by some unearned sentiment’.
Returning to the theme of high praise, Games Radar offers four out of five stars like many other outlets, praising the way that Director Chris McKay has thrown so many ideas to the mix, but highlights that ‘he could do all of these things without Lego, very much a spare part in a film that makes only limited use of the toy’s universe-building properties.’ The review considers it to be the best recent cinematic DC outing, stating that ‘It also goes some way towards dispelling the lingering stink from last year’s Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad disappointments, films this one has no qualms about adding to its list of satirical victims.’
Overall, early critical reaction to The LEGO Batman Movie is positive, with common themes cropping up the quality of the Batman references, the rapid-fire gag rate and pitch-perfect vocal performances. Rotten Tomatoes, at the time of writing, has the film at a fresh rating of 91%.