When I reviewed the video game Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, I had no idea that a film based on it was right around the corner. I had to review it as well. And for what’s essentially a children’s cartoon, it’s quite enjoyable.
The story opens with a typical confrontation pitting Batman and Robin against the Joker. This goes down about how you’d expect. But Lex Luthor, who is running for President, promises to bust the Joker loose if he will assist Luthor’s scheme. The Joker has mind control gas and Kryptonite, the latter of which Luthor will use to power some futuristic machinery. The plan is to hypnotize people into voting for Luthor. Although Batman’s trust issues make it difficult for him to ask for the help of anyone who’s not already on his team, he still ends up teamed with Superman.
The voice acting is pretty solid, particularly Clancy Brown as Luthor. I always liked the emotionally restrained, power-hungry Luthor he played in Superman: the Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited. Here he shows that he hasn’t lost a step. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast is good as well.
Obviously, no movie about a LEGO franchise is going to be a comic drama like the new live action movies. It’s a kids movie. Still, it does provide some nods to fans of the comic book, such as Luthor’s presidential run, the JLA’s Watchtower on the moon, and Batman’s suspicion of others.
Many cutscenes from the game are recycled. Most of the movie is original footage. I’m not sure if this is done with CGI or extensions of what they used for the game, but it works. The models are well-done LEGO replicas of the DC universe we know. Despite my reservations about the blatant commercialization, I give credit where credit is due.
Like many kids’ movies, this has a moral message. That message is that everybody needs a helping hand now and again. Thankfully, this kind of message works with the source material, rather than past attempts (*cough* *cough* Batman and Robin) that contradicted whatever they were based on for their message.
If you have kids who like action cartoons or superheroes, they’ll probably enjoy this. You yourself will probably get at least harmless fun out of this as well.
Overall: 8 out of 10