The Lego Movie
THE LEGO MOVIE (PG)
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (PG)
D: Chris McKay
Warner Bros/DC/Ratpac-Dune (Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller & Roy Lee)
W: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern & John Whittington [based on characters from DC comics]
Mus: Lorne Balfe
voices of: Will Arnett (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Zach Galifianakis (The Joker), Michael Cera (Dick Grayson / Robin), Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon / Batgirl), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred Pennyworth), Channing Tatum (Superman)
The huge success of the first Lego Movie and the massive popularity of the brand itself made it absolutely inevitable that various spin-offs were going to happen, the first of which focuses on one of the characters who helped make the first film so much fun.
Bringing all of the characters from Batman's DC adventures into Lego form, the plot involves the Joker manipulating his way into the Phantom Zone, which holds all the worst villains from film and literature folklore, so he can escape and wreak havoc on Gotham City, all so he can prove that he is Batman's biggest nemesis.
Though the film is basically one big product placement for Lego merchandise, it still manages to be huge fun, drawing inspiration from all the Batman adventures over the decades. It's not just for kids.
THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART (U)
D: Mike Mitchell
Warner Bros/Rideback/Vertigo (Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Roy Lee & Jinko Gotoh)
W: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Mus: Mark Mothersbaugh
voices of: Chris Pratt (Emmett Brickowski / Rex Dangervest), Elizabeth Banks (Lucy / Wyldstyle), Will Arnett (Batman), Tiffany Haddish (Queen Watevra Wa’nabi), Stephanie Beatriz (General Sweet Mayhem)
I’m sorry to say that the novelty is definitely over when it comes to Lego movies now. A shame, since I was highly entertained by both the original film from 2014 and the Lego Batman movie released in 2017. Unfortunately, this sequel is just a cash-in and feels more like an excuse to push some product placement when the aforementioned films had far more focus on a good story.
The plot here sees the Lego world fall into chaos & ruin following an alien takeover by Duplo (Lego for younger kids) and some of the characters, including Batman and Wyldstyle are kidnapped by a shapeshifting leader. Emmett vows to rescue his friends, and is helped by Rex Dangervest, a rogue adventurer who comes with his own pet raptors.
Though the last half hour does hold some interest, the rest of the film before it is loud, brash and obnoxiously in-your-face.
Personally, I’d rather watch some kids actually playing with some Lego... sure it’ll probably be just as noisy, but it will still provoke a smile every now and then until you eventually tire of it and go do something else.