While foiling yet another of the villain's schemes to destroy Gotham City, Batman (Will Arnett) adds insult to injury by telling the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) that he isn't his greatest foe; the Caped Crusader prefers to promiscuously 'fight around'. Outraged by Batman's unwillingness to acknowledge the huge role he plays in his life, Joker plots his revenge.
Meanwhile, over at Wayne Manor, Alfred the butler (Ralph Fiennes) is increasingly concerned by Batman's unwillingness to let anybody into his life. The situation is only exacerbated by the Dark Knight's stubborn refusal to work with Gotham's new police commissioner, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), and his ambivalence towards Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), the orphan he accidentally adopts at a lavish city gala.
A far more satirical and subversive superhero movie than last year's overrated Deadpool, this spin-off from 2014's The LEGO Movie is one of the most enjoyable Batman movies ever made. It's also a refreshing antidote to the relentlessly grim version of the character often foisted on audiences, embracing the inherent silliness of the setup as well as being loaded with in-jokes relating to past incarnations of the character (in print and on the screen) – but never at the cost of excitement or action.
Director Chris McKay puts it best in one of the Blu-ray's extra features, stating: 'We wanted to make a movie that felt like an 11-year-old Michael Bay and an 11-year-old Henry Selick got together to make the craziest, most artistic-looking movie ever.' They've certainly succeeded.
Picture: As you might expect, The LEGO Batman Movie's 2.40:1 1080p Blu-ray encode looks an awful lot like that of The LEGO Movie. That's no bad thing as it once again results in a dazzling visual experience, flaunting a varied palette of richly saturated colours, deep blacks and masses of pixel info that draws out imperfections in the individual LEGO bricks.
Picture rating: 5/5
Audio: Warner's Dolby Atmos soundmix doesn't hit quite as hard as the Blu-ray's imagery quality. There's never any shortage of whizzy FX placement in the surround speakers, plus a robust LFE channel, but use of the vertical dimension is less consistent. Some big action scenes, such as the chaotic Gotham Energy attack, appear short of much in the way of height effects, despite ample opportunity.
Audio rating: 4/5
Extras: Director Chris McKay joins a room full of crew members for a detailed (and very funny) commentary track. Other goodies include five animated shorts; four deleted scenes; five behind-the-scenes videos; competition-winning fan films; and a collection of 10 trailers and other promo videos.
Extras rating: 3.5/5
We say: A great-looking hi-def debut for a fresh and funny superhero film. It's just a shame that the disc's Atmos mix doesn't quite live up to expectations.
The LEGO Batman Movie, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £25
HCC VERDICT: 4/5
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