Lego Batman is a fun and interesting new take on a classic character.

Batman is portrayed in this film as an egomaniacal brat who is, nonetheless, as  competent as he is spoiled and selfish.  He is an awesome crimefighter, but unlike other incarnations, he has no family apart from Alfred, his butler. In fact, the plot of the film hinges on the fact that he is afraid to form relationships that he could  lose in the same way that he lost his parents.

The crux of the plot is him learning to rely on and connect with others, such as his adopted son, Dick Grayson, and the new Commissioner, Barbara Gordon.  Here, Batman is also a lot more disrespectful to his cohorts, especially demeaning to Alfred and treating him as a simple servant who does not know how to raise a child—despite having raised him. Batman manipulates his adopted son into risking his life for him.

Despite all this, Will Arnett’s Batman is still a hugely entertaining character. With his hammy beatboxing and, even with his dark broodiness, the character provides many homages to the 1960’s Adam West Batman, with fighting punctuated with sounds of “pow” and “biff!” He has the same energy and uber-confidence as Adam West, and the character of Dick Grayson most resembles his Robin in terms of devotion to Batman and geeky enthusiasm.

However, he does grow in character, becoming more concerned with allies and more aware that he actually needs them. The point of this film was for Batman to overcome his fear of losing people, enough to allow them to be in his life, and to begin to relate to them. Doing so while still being egotistical and brooding. He does not lose his key characteristics as Batman, yet manages to adopt levity at the same time. As such, this Batman is the most nuanced version of the character to appear in a long time.