Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman.” So reads the tagline for Warner Bros’ follow-up to their mega-hit The Lego Movie – which gives you a pretty clear indication that, just like its zany, meta, fourth-wall-breaking predecessor, this is a movie that has its tongue wedged firmly in its bat-cheek.
It’s easy to forget that before that first Lego movie wowed audiences across the world, the feeling was very much that it was going to be just another one of Hollywood’s recent spate of poor cash-ins on existing toy properties (hello, rubbish movie versions of Angry Birds, Battleship and many more).
But this one’s directors were the brilliant Phil Miller and Chris Lord, who have now moved on from it to the considerable echelons of the mighty Star Wars universe, with the pair now having just started shooting on the new, as yet untitled, Young Han Solo Movie, to be released
The unquestionable breakout star of their yellowbrick movie was, of course, Batman, voiced by US comedian Will Arnett as a loveable millionaire dimwit with an enormous ego and an even bigger lack of self-awareness.
And now he’s got a whole movie all of his own. “Which, I think,” deadpans Arnett, “is entirely proper and justified, don’t you agree?” Quite.
Up against Zach Galifianakis’ dastardly Joker, but with Ralph Fiennes’ Alfred the Butler, Rosario Dawson’s Batgirl and Michael Cera’s “adopted orphan” Robin by his side, Batman this time must not only defeat his nemesis, but also learn to actually be a grown-up for once.
“Which,” laughs Arnett, “is something that doesn’t come easy to our version of Batman.”
Christian Bale, move over. There’s a new Caped Crusader in town. And he’s loads more fun.
The Lego Batman Movie is released on February 9.