Do you remember when Batman was fun? You know, back when he was all about the BAM!, POW! and the Batusi, and not so dark and brooding and trying to kill Superman. It seems like forever ago when Batman was actually having a good time taking on Gotham's worst. Back when he was both moody and zany, making you laugh as he took on ridiculous villains who seemed straight out of Scooby-Doo. For those who wish Batman was funny again and aren't interested in checking out Ben Affleck's oh-so-serious take on the crime fighter in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there is a Batman movie for you. It's The LEGO Batman Movie, which, by the looks of its trailer, will be spoofing the self-serious bat and letting us know the laughs we've been missing since Christopher Nolan reinvented the Dark Knight for the big screen.
Voiced by Will Arnett, this teeny, tiny toy Batman is the perfect answer to the latest iteration of the superhero, who seems to take himself just a little too seriously. LEGO Batman, as previously seen in The LEGO Movie, is still battling his inner demons, but he's doing so by laying down dope tracks and showing off his wicked beat-boxing. Arnett's Batman is one that will make you laugh, even if he's not exactly in on the joke. This Batman doesn't have a sense of humor about himself, but he sure can't help but be funny.
In the short sneak peek of the movie, out February 2017, Batman is seen hanging out in his Bat Cave all alone after a hard day fighting crime. "I saved the city again," he says to his Siri-fied cave before heating up the lobster thermidor his butler Alfred left for him. The trailer hinges on this one joke of Batman, still in his suit, microwaving his dinner. Like many of us non-superheroes, Batman has trouble setting the timer and impatiently waits right in front of the microwave for his meal to be done.
In this new more animated take (both figuratively and literally) on Batman, he's still in the shadows brooding, but now he's writing emo songs about it. He's the equivalent of a tortured artist, who wears the mask to cover his sadness. Unlike the aggressively un-fun and unfunny recent takes on the aging Dark Knight, the LEGO Batman Movie is leaning into all the criticisms of recent franchises by breathing a bit of fresh air into a character that has, at this point, become a parody of himself. So what better way to poke fun at the persona by being a parody of the parody?
Instead of being a hero we all relate to, the LEGO version is the one you can't help but roll your eyes at. He's a misanthrope, a Debbie Downer who offers up the comic relief with how much he seems to hate his life. Nolan and Snyder's Batmans were saddled with emotional baggage, but LEGO Batman's problems seem to stem from living IRL. Hence, the spot-on microwave joke. He can save Gotham, but he can't save himself for the mundanity of actually living. His goal now is to find his happiness, a pretty great premise for a children's movie that adults could also learn a few things from. And after watching Batman get his back broken, lose everyone he loves, and decide the world doesn't need a Man of Steel, it's just nice to see the Dark Knight finally lighten up a little bit and give Alfred the night off.