Lego DC Comics Super Heroes - Justice League: Gotham City Breakout (2016)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 9/28/16
Cast: Troy Baker, Grey Griffin, Nolan North, Tara Strong, Amy Hill

"Peace is like a stale potato chip left out in the rain and stepped on by schoolgirls."

An utterly delightful Lego adventure that sees Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl taking a much needed vacation, while an overly confident Superman looks after Gotham City. Naturally, all hell breaks loose when Superman unwittingly releases all of the inmates from Arkham Asylum and has a terrible time trying to deal with them. "I hate Gotham City! The criminals are too weird!" Meanwhile, Batman's vacation spot is the island home of his former mentor Madame Mantis, but it turns out to be a fiendish trap laid by Bane and Deathstroke. Deathstroke wishes to possess "the forbidden move," which Madame Mantis refused to teach him as a student. Batman finally cracks under the strain of the Psychic Stone, but saves the day with the Batussi. Meanwhile, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg learn a lesson in Batman-styled crime fighting from Robin, and manage to clean up Gotham City before Batman returns home.

The film wisely focuses on Batman, and Troy Baker has found a wonderful rhythm in his performance. He imbues Batman with a delightful combination of Kevin Conroy's dark brooding and Adam West's absurd seriousness, and every line is brilliantly delivered. It's very interesting how much inspiration is drawn from "Batman '66" and the show definitely benefits from it. For the most part, the writing is very good, but the Troggawogs are universally juvenile and annoying. Amy Hill does her best James Hong impersonation as Madame Mantis, which is extremely hilarious. Tara Strong provides the voice of Harley Quinn, which is curious because she used to play Batgirl in the original Batman animated series. The animation is good and the action comes fast and furious. Superman's botched attempts to keep the peace in Gotham City are nicely realized, and there's a good amount of clever in-jokes scattered throughout. Good stuff that the whole family can enjoy.