Chris McKay steps into the director’s chair for The LEGO Batman Movie following his hugely successful work as Editor and Animation Co-Director on The LEGO Movie. It’s going to be a steep challenge for his followup to bring the same sort of critical and commercial success to that the first big screen outing received, but not one that’s unattainable. With the movie’s villain voice actors revealed earlier this weekend, exciting new information about The LEGO Batman Movie has been seeping out and now, the first slew of early reviews for the flick have been released, with every single one giving the film a glowing report.

The movie sees Will Arnett voicing the Dark Knight for the first time since his debut in the original LEGO Movie, and it would seem his debut lead performance as the Caped Crusader is one that’s really got the critics talking; thankfully for all the right reasons. Theater-goers will see Arnett’s Bruce Wayne go on a personal journey to find himself, discovering the importance of working as a team in the hopes of saving Gotham City once more from the villainous forces of The Joker (Zach Galifianakis) and his cronies.

You can read SPOILER-FREE excerpts from the eight reviews published so far below – click on the corresponding links for each to read the reviews in their entirety;

Daily Telegraph (UK) – Robbie Collin

Don’t tell Ben Affleck – he seems sad enough already – but the actor has just been made surplus to requirements by one and a half inches of moulded plastic.

Guardian – Steve Rose

The movie is chock-full of meta-references, one-liners and in-jokes (a cinema in the background is playing Two Shades of Grey, for example).

South China Morning Post – James Mottram

Boasting more pop-culture references than plastic bricks – everything from The Matrix to King Kong gets a nod – the film isn’t above ripping on other previous superhero failures, with Suicide Squad coming in for a bashing.

Uproxx – Mike Ryan

This is a Batman who isn’t battling the demons of his deceased parents – instead he just misses them. (And, thank heavens, we aren’t subjected to yet another depiction of poor Thomas and Martha Wayne being murdered.)

the lego batman movie characters image LEGO Batman Movie Early Reviews: Everything Is Awesome

Games Radar – Neil Smith

Just when it appeared we’d reached peak superhero, those wily folks at Warner Bros. find another way to re-package the Caped Crusader and the other denizens of the DC Comics stable – one that also manages to ally them to the world’s most popular toy brand.

Daily Star – Andy Lea

Will Arnett’s plastic vigilante delivers more entertainment in the first ten seconds of this Lego spoof than Affleck managed in the entirety of the dour Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

HeyUGuys – Stefan Pape

Yet, in quite remarkable fashion, away from the consistent stream of gags – as a film that takes something of a scattergun approach – this is actually, and arguably, the most intimate study of the eponymous role in the character’s existence.

Starbust – Michael Coldwell

As with the first film, it’s the little details and character moments that stay with you. Scenes of Batman alone in his giant super-cave, hunched in front of his microwave and eating dinner alone on a little Rosebud Bat Boat unexpectedly move you in ways LEGO mini figures really shouldn’t.

While this is a relatively small sample size of reviews when compared to The LEGO Movie’s now 200+ write-ups, it’s good to hear that 2017 is kicking things off with a Batman movie that’s making everybody who goes to see it smile. The critics weren’t huge fans of last year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, as some of them even make clear in their new reviews here, so knowing that Gotham’s vigilante is finally getting the love he deserves is heart-warming, to say the least.

Of course, when more reviews begin to trickle out and the movie is opened up to the general public, there’s no telling exactly which direction the flick will go. If it beats too hard on other DC big screen properties it could incur the wrath of a huge fanbase. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how this one goes down.

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