THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE Gets a Trailer and Poster

Batman is a dumb character. God knows those Dark Knight movies with their idiot solemnity are long overdue for some irreverent ridicule, and McKay et al. take on the job with manic relish.

Let's start with the good: There's finally a Batman movie you can take the kids to!

"The Lego Batman Movie" is a much-needed positive start to 2017, and offers WB/DC an nearly fail-proof, kid-friendly way of giving the Lego treatment to their other heroes. It throws everything - and I mean everything - but a Lego kitchen sink onscreen, and does so with a wink.

Remember when comic-book movies were fun? In The Lego Batman Movie Batman is different from any other rendition I have seen: he makes fun of his own flaws, such as his narcissism and inability to permanently capture any of the villains he fights. You can't even snap Affleck's head off. You will find something to appreciate about this movie, no matter what your relationship with Batman.

The Lego Batman Movie hits theaters this Friday, but Lego and Warner Animation Group are already hustling the next spinoff of The Lego Movie series.

The lowdown: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted. Led by the Joker, the villains prove to be more than a handful.

Then we got that version, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice", and most of the eye rolls were totally merited.

Michael Keaton was too short. He can't rap. People aren't really lining up to be his friend. Imagine if Rob Gronkowski were Batman. This is the driving force behind the whole film, the question of whether Batman will finally allow himself to be close to others and be happy for once, yet there is very little time in the film to feel sad, because the welcome tongue-in-cheek tone is always there, along with brilliant witticisms and visual gags. It's a fair point. While Alfred (voiced by Ralph Fiennes, who hands off the role of Voldemort to Eddie Izzard) tries to get Batman to live a social life, the Joker behaves like a pissed-off doormat of an ex-boyfriend after finding out that Batman thinks of him as one enemy among many instead of as his archnemesis. Considering the movie has about a bajillion characters in it though, we'll just have to cross our fingers that characters like Johnny Karaoke, Bookworm and maybe even Jezebel Jet eventually make the cut.

The focus is on the amusing and the family, which makes "The Lego Batman Movie" a super choice for young and old alike to enjoy. Clearly they do. This movie merely revels in their absurdity.

There's a reason why some of the best Batman stories and movies have featured the Clown Prince of Crime - Alan Moore's The Killing Joke graphic novel, Tim Burton's 1988 Batman movie, Nolan's The Dark Knight ... all these stories have featured the Joker in direct conflict with Batman.

Until that happens though, we have The Lego Batman Movie.

  • Marlene Weaver