The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019, Mike Mitchell)

LegoMovie2

Spoiler warning: these reviews reveal plot twists.

Various heroes including Batman must team up after an invasion by the Duplo aliens results in the Lego world of Bricksburg being turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland…

After the pop-art explosion of joy that was the first Lego Movie, and a still-enjoyable spin-off film that centred on Batman, events turn darker in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. This is a film about annihilation and invasion… albeit told through the franchise’s kid-friendly storytelling means of relentless jokes, bold colours and frenetic cutting.

We mention the film on this blog, of course, because of the inclusion of Batman. Again voiced by Will Arnett and again a lot of fun, Bats gets swept along on another adventure and is given plenty more self-referential gags to aim at the adults in the audience, mostly revolving around his laconic loneliness and arrogance. ‘How many movies have they made about you?’ he bitterly asks the Elizabeth Banks-voiced Wildstyle at one point. ‘Because there are, like, nine about me and, like, three others in various stages of development.’

This is the fourth Lego-based film in five years – there was also a Ninjago-based entry in 2017, without Batman – so the immediate impact has dulled and there’s a sense of seen-it-before. But this still contains thrillingly inventive, Mad Max-style action sequences slammed up against messages of positivity and inclusivity. A kaleidoscope of cultural references fills the frame and the stiletto-sharp animation is again a wonder to behold. You have to admire it for its sheer, unapologetic, full-on energy, even if some of the awesomeness from the 2014 original has begun to wear off now.

Seven catchy songs out of 10

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