The Lego Batman Movie takes place about a few years, according to shady sources, after the first kickoff movie, and Batman is fighting crime in the evenings, enjoying a wave of fan's hands below his back at dawn, and eating microwavable lobster while watching some movies after midnight that the song "After Midnight" would fit in somewhere. But Batman is really in denial about how happy he is, but it's hard for him to face up to admitting that. Then one day, an orphan named Dick Grayson, played by the always lovable Michael Cera, is told by Bruce Wayne that he can be adopted, but Brucie wasn't paying attention. He was too busy staring and listening to the new police chief Barbara Gordon. I won't spoil what the plot's supposed to be, but let's just say it's a mission Batman sets up for himself.
After Batman v Superman, which I tried to like but ended up feeling major pain as a result, I was as hesitant to start this movie as Batman was when he said Emmett was the real hero rather than him at the end of the first one. But the movie started off satirizing movie logos and openings sort of like what Deadpool did, except a little less in-your-face but still hilarious. And their spin-off of the main Batman theme reminded me of all those renditions of old Pokemon battle themes amped up for newer versions. And those kinds of newer versions I'm a fanboy of. It also sneakily makes fun of but doesn't completely dismiss gay couples, the opening having a scene that is about as close as it gets to having an official gay romance scene without actually having it and being effective at making something tug at us nonetheless. Which sounds extremely lame but in this Lego universe, these characters can get away with being a little ridiculous.
And the writers definitely felt confident enough to put "Batman" on the title of this movie. This movie has enough Batman universe references to make even the most devout pan have their mouths drool over some of the feasts they have. I won't spoil the references, but let's just say they make good use of shark repellent, and acknowledge that sometimes, Batman wasn't really given the right hands for his reins a few times. And it's pretty funny.
There's also not just Batman references. One of the passwords to a night club hosted by someone everyone knows is, "Iron Man Sucks". Yes, he does, haha! And there are references to just about every villain that immediately comes to mind. I won't spoil the plan of the bad guy, which everyone knows by now is The Joker's, but it's quite genius. What's also genius is how the Suicide Squad was handled and everything. I haven't actually seen Suicide Squad, but I'd say the voice actors, especially Jenny Slate, who's been voicing in everything recently, from Zootopia to The Secret Life of Pets, deliver performances that make the characters their own and take them out of movies many others wouldn't like. And the movie still retains the action and zippiness of The Lego Movie, this time not including the important message of its predecessor but this time going for a message that still holds up, especially a very special scene that involves one thing, really. A TV remote. You have to see the movie to get what I mean.
Now, I guess a few things I didn't like that prevented me from giving this a grade that gives a trophy symbol is there's a scene Batman does that attempts to throw another joke but let's just say, there's a movie I gave an F to that had a scene exactly like that. The scene doesn't end the exact same way (thank GOODNESS!!!) but when that joke came, I thought, Alright. The writers can stop being smart alecks for a little while. And I feel like it took a little too long for the ending to really arrive, and there's a scene that settles for a solid "click" rather than a big push. Basically, there were times where I wish I had a whistle to say, "Okay, that's enough".
But still, this is not only several times better than the letdown BvS Dawn of Justice, but its quirks, hilarious references and overall enjoyment factor took me out of a movie slump I was in at the time after seeing three bad movies in a row, so I can't give BvS anything other than a B+ for being able to accomplish that. The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie are both fair game for frantic family fare.