"Lego Batman Movie" (232407)
Credit: Contributed

When Barbara Gordon takes over for her father as police commissioner of Gotham City, she announces that crime fighting must become a community effort. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes citizens banding together to fight crime. Relying upon Batman to keep the city safe is a thing of the past. Batman is stunned and hurt by Gordon’s proclamation, especially because he has just defeated a virtual who’s who of Gotham City villains. The Caped Crusader retreats to his lair with only his butler Alfred to comfort him.

“The Lego Batman Movie” is a preachy, adult-themed production and it receives our intermediate rating—Rent It.

This movie doesn’t disappoint in terms of glitz and amazing animation that reflects the latest in that genre’s technology, but it goes overboard in its moralizing.

Viewers are bombarded with messages of the importance of working together, bonding and sharing life with other people, and recognizing the value of friends and even enemies. It all comes across very much like a sermon. These lessons are delivered in a way that would be more appropriate for adults than the targeted market, children.

The characters are voiced by stars such as Will Arnett as Batman. I have long maintained that hiring stars for voice-overs in animated productions is a waste of money because viewers don’t choose these types of films because of who’s doing the talking. However, in this case, having stars voice the roles helps in one way: It raises the film’s cast diversity rating to a “C.” Although few of the Lego characters are of color, Rosario Dawson has a huge role speaking as Gordon, and Mariah Carey does the talking for the Mayor of Gotham and Billy Dee

Williams for the villain Two-Face.

“The Lego Batman Movie” scores with it visual appeal while the story goes overboard in sermonizing. So wait and Rent It.

It’s 90 minutes in length and is rated PG-13 for crude humor and action.