It's been a very long time coming but the DC Universe seems to finally be taking shape. Although it will take a while for them to regain critic and fan respect after their embarrassing run of Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and Justice League, with Wonder Woman and Aquaman, they definitely seem to be finding their feet. In their second attempt to convert horror directors to the superhero genre - Shazam! finds Light's Out and Annabelle: Creation's David F Sandberg in the chair. Delinquent orphan Billy Batson bounces from foster family to foster family, but after he is unexpectedly chosen by a wizard as his successor, the teenager is able to transform into an adult superhero on uttering the name Shazam.
Sandberg's super homage to 1988's Big lacks that Shazam! factor. Whilst it still sets DC on the right course, their latest adventure isn't as witty as it thinks it is. It's tremendous fun when Sandberg plays with genre conventions and to some extent Shazam! has adapted well to the modern perspective of superheros. This can be seen through the terrific relationship between older Zachary Levi and younger Jack Dylan Grazer. In typical teenage fashion, Billy larks around carelessly with his powers - it's amusing to see Levi channel Tom Hanks' playfulness with a superhero spin. Flossing on camera, blowing up school books and discovering his wide set of abilities at the most random moments - such as discovering his bullet proof constitution during a convenience store robbery.
Credit must also be given to Grazer as best friend/orphan brother Freddy Freeman, who is given undoubtably all the best lines as the smart-ass superhero nerd. Mark Strong is also fantastic here as Dr Minerva, stubborn and bitter from his childhood, plagued by the seven deadly sins and seeking unlimited power after being tempted by evil. Strong is theatrical and thoroughly entertaining, and unlike every villain since the dawn of the DCEU Minerva is fairly well developed despite his end of the world intentions.
It's not that Shazam! is a bad film, it just doesn't feel very special. The emotional elements of this lightening caper are focused and endearing - Sandberg incorporates a poignant message about what it means to be a foster child. Speaking of which - the foster kids are all absolutely brilliant. Yet, Shazam! doesn't spark any real excitement, the action is used sparingly and that's something you don't expect in superhero capers. But the script doesn't zap to its full potential and subsequently the film never gains momentum. Shazam! feels like Billy's first attempt to fly... lots of flapping but never quite getting off the ground.
Stephen King is the master of the pen when it comes to contemporary horror literature - The Shining, Carrie, It and The Green Mile - to name a few of his most celebrated novels and film adaptations. When writing the intentionally misspelled Pet Semetary, King questioned whether the book was "too dark" to publish - and he wasn't scare mongering. Pet Semetary is nasty, bogged down in a world of bleak fantasy that becomes its characters' reality. Dr Louis Creed and his wife Rachel relocate their hectic lives from Boston to the suburbs of Maine. Soon after their arrival they stumble upon a mysterious burial ground where the local kids take their pets after they die, however the Creed family are quickly made aware of the pet semetary's true existence.
Stephen King's horror classic is buried by screenwriters Matt Greenberg and Jeff Buhler and doesn't come back the same. As the film advertised in its exhausting marketing campaign: sometimes dead is better - although the dumb slogan leaves you scratching your head, questioning when is dead ever better? But in Pet Semetary's case dead is always better. Quite possibly the worst King adaptation to be released in numerous years - Pet Semetary is horrible and extremely distasteful but never counterbalanced by being clever or commendable. I don't mean horrible in the "horror" sense - to be frank, this remake is completely and utterly empty of any genuine fear, but the writers have reworked the famous novel with new twists that cheapen King's original text. As the credits abruptly scroll upwards, I challenge you to not feel any shock or disgust by the provocative ending they decided to go with.
For one, the performances are atrocious - as are the boring characters each actor is given. Jason Clarke leads as Dr Louis Creed - he's extremely one dimensional throughout and seems pretty unconvincing as the man who is tempted by the power the pet semetary poses. Definitely the most interesting aspect of the film is Amy Seimetz as Rachel Creed - haunted by a traumatic childhood with her sister, this sub plot plays quite an important role in the film and actaully works quite nicely. However young Jéte Laurence undercuts any suspenseful or potentially terrifying moments with her toe nail curling turn as daughter Ellie - she neither sells the sweet and innocent nine year old, nor the demonic corpse she comes back from the dead as. It's ironic that the scariest aspect of this cheap reboot is the child acting, and if you were wondering, John Lithgow is absolute pants as a creepy old man, with zero plot relevance.
Towards the third act, the film catostrophically caves in. There is a marvellous underlying theme about the conflict regarding life after death waiting to be exploited, but ultimately - sadly - Pet Semetary makes waste of interesting ideas and spooky set pieces for yet more naff horror beats.
I remember a time when Disney was the most magical thing in the world. Producing films like Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and Mulan; the studio was the first to introduce animation into the mainstream. Going one step further, their reputation only got better as they purchased the state of the art 3D animated studio Pixar in 2006. Even though their animation continues to break boundaries, Disney are becoming transparent with their live action feats... and Dumbo is the best example of their sheer greed. In their latest attempt to cash in on the classics, Dumbo sees dark director Tim Burton return to the company nine years after succeeding with his off the wall take on Alice in Wonderland.
A young elephant is born with oversized ears that enable him to fly, and travelling with his performing friends they soon realise there are dark secrets beyond the big top. Disney soar to a new low with this freak show remake. Dumbo is de-tusked of the grace and tragedy of the 1942 original, crashing straight to the circus floor. Behind the white grease paint and red button noses, you can see Disney smirking with dollar signs in their eyes. It seems there is no magic or imagination left in these live action outings - Beauty and the Beast, Nutcracker and the Four Realms and Christopher Robin to name a few have confirmed that we are no longer being treated as individuals hoping to be inspired, we are just the subjects that turn up to swell the studio coffers.
Dumbo twists Burton's direction so much that his legendary presence is almost entirely absent. There is none of that weird and wonderful creativity, none of that dark and warping world building. His creative influence is missing in a film that is clearly - and tightly - dictated by studio execs. At one point, as the crowd prepares for Dumbo's impossible flying act there is a particular wide shot that reveals a stack of elephant plushys neatly pilled up for children to gape at, but these aren't just any old elephants, these are genuine Dumbo toys currently available for purchase in the Disney store. There is a fine line between product placement and blatant cash grabbing, and Dumbo is an appalling effort by Disney. It's disheartening to see once enchanting films become increasingly more like studio cash cows, rather than stimulating and avant-garde re-imaginings with up to date brush strokes.
Then there's the characters, each of who have about as much personality as the performing mice (who by the way don't talk in this recreation). Eva Green is probably the most engaging as trapeze artist Colette - Colin Farrell plays the insipid war veteran Holt Farrier, and as for Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito, the two are each dumped with over-the-top and hammed up characters and absolutely no other development. Like the film itself, literally every single character in Dumbo is pointless. Tainting the elegant source material with clunky storytelling, forced merchandising, as well as a tagged on message about animal preservation in the last ten minutes, I don't think Disney could sink any lower. That being said, with two more live action remakes penciled in for this summer, who knows what toys they will be promoting next.
He who shall be named here, Ralph Fiennes, directs his third feature. The acclaimed actor and occasional filmmaker has so far based his creative focus on British writers, following his debut contemporary spin on Shakespeare's cut throat classic Coriolanus, Fiennes delivered the BAFTA nominated Dickens biopic The Invisible Woman. A way away from his previous work, taking place in the Cold War, The White Crow tells the true story of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and his defection to the west.
Fiennes re-choreographs The Red Shoes with all the energy, risk and precision drained out of it. This dry and derivative drama follows a very similar set up to Powell and Pressburger's 1948 classic: young dancer fighting for a place at a prestigious dance school, that also happens to be touring around Europe, with the young protagonist ultimately swallowed up by their ambitions. The White Crow is gorgeously shot but its cinematography is entirely superfluous. Applying grainy film stock and a washed out colour pallet, the film subtly captures the barren and paranoid atmosphere of the Cold War era. Other than that, there is almost no purpose behind said camerawork; multiple angled building shots and repeated takes of Nureyev gazing at classical male statues.
Oleg Ivenko in the lead role of Rudolf Nureyev is so wooden that a severe risk of splinters is in order. The disgruntled ballet dancer pursues his career at Pushkin's distinguished school escaping the clutches of his Russian adversaries, but Ivenko delivers none of the desperation and passion you'd expect from someone in his position. You just don't get any sense of emotion through his monotone delivery. The White Crow cross cuts between the past and the present - which in itself is a pretty tired device within the biographical genre. To signify the changing times, the film's aspect ratio changes dramatically. Often jarring rather than skilful, The White Crow is choppy in comparison to the poised, graceful drama of its subject matter.
Despite the visual style Fiennes doesn't really offer us any real finesse. This latest work has a few interesting elements, its attractive but entirely pointless cinematography being one of them, but Ivenko's expressions are so blank and vacant that there isn't much to salvage from this dance drama with bad posture.
The White Crow:
What does this title mean to you? Do you see Us or US? Well, one half of a comedy duo turned satirical director Jordan Peele has stated there is no concrete meaning behind his sophomore feature. To save the confusion or feared mispronunciation, Us has dual connotations in fitting with how one would interpret the film itself. In the wake of his multi Oscar nominated global phenomenon Get Out, Peele returns with an even darker and more thought provoking movie that reminds us that we are our own worst enemy.
A family take a trip to Santa Cruz for a relaxing summer vacation. However, their tranquility is soon disrupted when dopplegängers arrive at the end of their driveway. This mind boggling, ambiguous comedy-horror is overflowing with ambition. I think Get Out is a good film but not a great film, I respect the innovative creative choices Peele makes as well as the power social commentary that is carefully woven into the story. However I found both the horror and comedy elements lacking and the sub plot with Chris' best bud Rod jarring and fairly avoidable.
Us however is a taxing, frustrating but extraordinary work - one that I don't doubt will be studied in years to come. In the DNA of Peele's sinister satire he explores our duality. There are visual motifs peppered throughout the entire journey, repeated symbols of pairs - whether it's the newscast that reports the game score reading 11:11 or the shadows cast by the Wilson family as they stroll across the beach. Peele delicately sorts images into the film, reflecting the dopplegängers in smaller detail. Scissors are a power convention of the horror genre - they don't just impose this great sense of threat because they're a sharp object, their symmetry mirrors the genuine threat which is each side of us.
Chiefly, Peele dedicates the first half of this nightmare to the family. Like all the best horror films, Us establishes real character dynamics, admirable people who we invest in long before things literally go to hell. Discussing the lyrics to Luniz' I Got 5 On It and bickering around the kitchen table - Peele shows us their close-knit relationship. Winston Duke is terrific as Gabe - the goofy dad who dabs and attempts to win over the rest of the family with his conked out "speed" boat. Shahadi Wrigth Joseph is brilliant as the archetypal disapproving teenage girl, in addition to Jason played by Evan Alex who brings great physicality to his performance. In one of her first leading roles Lupita Nyong'o is sensational as the anxious though resourceful Adelaide, capturing a mother's instinct with refections of long hidden childhood trauma. Us is flawed but the first act is flawless.
I'm personally not a fan of comedy-horror, I find it either undercuts the tension or it can't find the right balance between scares and gags. Although it took me a while to adjust to it - Peele is trying to do A LOT here. Us is a better showcase for the visionary genre blending and tinkering with extremely dark subject matter whilst injecting zany dead-pan humour into it. In one pre-climatic scene the family argue over who has the highest kill count and should therefore drive the getaway car - this bold tone mixing and self-awareness is a key aspect of Peele's auteurism, along with his politically and socially thought provoking cinematography.
There is so much to decipher in Peele's Rorschach test. Us plays as a wicked critic on Trumps' America, pointing the blame at ourselves, suggesting we are the reason the nation is so divided. It's also a film about inequality and the marginalised groups of society, but unlike Get Out, not strictly about racism. When we reach the end you may not gain much gratification from this satirical misadventure, but more than anything Us is your own interpretation. The fact that Peele had the balls to put out something this ambitious with no clear meaning is not only commendable, it's absolutely awe-inspiring.
In Asghar Farhadi's newest drama everybody knows; the Iranian filmmaker of About Elly and The Salesman fame ventures into rural Spain along with two big A-list stars. It's such a treat to see both Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz on their own turf in a small-scale, self-contained picture. Laura returns from Argentina to her hometown outside Madrid to celebrate her sister's wedding, however things take a turn for the worst when her eldest daughter Irene is abducted.
Farhadi crafts a raw, hard-boiled family drama immersed in the tiny town and isolated countryside. With a more stripped down approach, Everybody Knows sketches the emotional torment of a family riddled with deceit and resentment, and how an event leads to a butterfly effect opening a rift that will change relationships forever. As a result of Irene's kidnapping Laura (Cruz) seeks help from old friends, specifically Bardem's avuncular figure Paco.
Sooner rather than later we discover that Paco and Laura were once lovers. Fooling around in the dusty, sun dappled bell tower Irene finds her mother's initials carved into the timeworn brick wall. The church bells are a predominant feature of the film's soundscape and it becomes clear right away how vital its importance is within the narrative - Farhadi hints a connection between Irene and Paco as the bells continue to chime in the backdrop across the movie. Expanding up the amazing sound track we also have the evocative, rustling branches of Paco's vineyard, the dirt track roads that crunch underfoot and the pouring rain that scuttles against the frayed jalouise windows.
Cruz and Bardem are captivating in two roles that are seemly, deliberately, given very little direction. Cruz presents a woman who is readjusting to her home environment years after her last visit, settling into the lifestyle fairly quickly but drawn closer to old friends once her daughter is abducted. Bardem is depleted as the weary Paco, reluctantly thrown into the mix of Laura's family tragedy and laying everything on the line for her. Haunted by past relationships, it's refreshing to see Bardem in a thoughtful and understated role, acting against his mainstream expectations and taking on a more endearing character.
Farhadi cleverly diverts away from overused genre conventions - there's no cross-cutting between the victim and her searchers. Everybody Knows is simply - and beautifully - about the instability of a family dynamic under extreme circumstances. Farhadi aims for naturalistic story telling and definitely achieves so.
Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben)
As social media dangerously expands there are ever increasing opportunities for trolls to spurt out genuinely nasty and unjustified hate. There have been a great deal of films in recent years that have effectively been buried by internet users - most notably 2016's all female reboot of Ghostbusters. If you were unaware, the controversy surrounding Marvel's latest feature has been not only ridiculous but quite toxic. Infamous critic website Rotten Tomatoes even had to change its entire system of ratings due to fans leaving fake negative reviews, intentionally dragging down the audience score - the studio has never before been afflicted with such strife.
The hate was primarily fuelled by Marvel's supposedly heavy handed feminist agenda, with the marketing for this film in no way subtle about the fact that Captain Marvel is their first female led picture. The girl who fell to earth - Carol Danvers - finds herself caught in the middle of a galactic war between the mighty Kree and the shapeshifting Skrulls.
Sadly Captain Marvel is all white noise - Brie Larson beams and sparkles, quite literally, in a hugely underwritten role. Co-directors and writers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are aided by a host of other creative forces, working behind what has got to be one of Marvel's messiest screenplays. There has been such uproar over Captain Marvel reportedly ramming its feminist ideologies down the throats of fans, yet ultimately - surprisingly - the film has very little to say. Although Carol's cosmic energy is an electrifying sight to behold, this underwhelming fantasy is all hype and no show.
That said, reminiscent of Marvel's phase one formula Captain Marvel has quite an authentic feel, similar to the likes of Iron Man and Thor. As usual there are the "end of the world" stakes, but Boden and Fleck don't particularly stress the impact this movie will have on the wider MCU - which is refreshing to see in the mist of multi character team ups like Infinity War. It's wistful in the quieter moments, as when amnesiac Carol walks into a bar and sees fragments of her past life burst across her minds' eye. With that in mind however its confused structure clutters a perfectly decent storyline - whilst admirably small-scale, we never feel the cosmic level oomph of the Kree/Skrull war against which the story is told.
Captain Marvel condenses Carol's backstory into a series of emotionally ineffective flashbacks -with Boden and Fleck lazily - almost reluctantly - sketching the hurdles she had to jump through. There is an underlying theme of women being continually knocked down and gaining the strength to dust off and stand straight back up again, however this poignant message is never brought to the forefront - key events that make Carol the woman she is are sidelined and subsequently Captain Marvel doesn't feel anywhere near as empowering or consequential as it should do.
Nonetheless, Larson's supernova performance outshines Carol's poor character development. Carol Danvers is the archetypal badass woman: she isn't feminised by any means, she has swagger and attitude to spare but most importantly she doesn't answer to men. Indubitably, her best trait is how she acts on her keen instincts - there is absolutely no time for hesitation, Carol goes with her gut and never flounders at the last second. Larson's edgy star-warrior teaches young girls the significance of confidence and sticking by decisions.
Surprisingly Captain Marvel doesn't beat you over the head with 90's nostalgia, although I think it could have afforded to. There are elements that harken back to early 90's sci-fi with Pinar Toprak's fantastic, warping electro score and the occasional moments of eye-popping production design. With exception to the few grungy tunes lined up on the MP3 player - Elastica's Connection and No Doubt's rather on-the-nose Just a Girl, there is very little indication that we are gazing back at the earlier days of the Avengers. Samuel L. Jackson is un-suprisingly fantastic as de-aged Nick Fury, in addition to Ben Mendleson as the shapeshifting Talos.
The main problem is that Captain Marvel is not the statement feminist piece the studio pushed so hard to be - the smaller ideas are never spotlighted nor is Carol given the emotional depth an origin story really should do. Larson's perky, fearless but underplayed performance as Danvers gleams through the overall mediocrity. Like many of the studio's recent endeavours, Captain Marvel is given little artistic freedom and is restrained to the conventions of the genre, falling into the lacklustre pot of routine and commonplace superhero capers.
Debussy's Clair De Lune is arguably one of the most iconic pieces of classical music. Used in a recent trailer promoting Godzilla: King of the Monsters it had a staggering impact - and likewise The Aftermath employed the same spellbinding melody. However when I think about James Kent's latest drama, only a city levelling Kaju comes to mind. Either I'm just a sucker for Debussy or that says a lot about this weak but watchable war time romance.
Rachel Morgan is sent to Hamburg to live with her husband - a British army Colonel - during the post-war reconstruction of 1946. They take ownership of a German household but tensions soon arise when Rachel is drawn to house owner Stefan Lubert. The Aftermath will keep you confined to barracks however. This sexually frustrated war drama plants Keira Knightley in the middle of Jason Clarke and Alexander Skärsgard. Churning out an excruciating performance Knightley acts like a spoilt school girl who throws a tantrum when she doesn't get her own way. Following the death of her son during the war, Rachel travels to a blitzed Hamburg to reunite with her other half Lewis Morgan - but things soon turn sour as Rachel is swept away by housekeeper Stefan's hospitable charm.
This lustful drama is absent of any romantic energy, there is almost no connection between Knightley and her two lovers. The Aftermath tries to align us with Rachel but her character is absolutely horrible and in no way personable - the film tries to excuse this though, suggesting that her personal demons drive her unfaithful actions. There's a point where Knightley weeps behind a grand piano, lamenting over the loss of her little boy - the scene itself has some sense of anguish but I'm sorry to say that her performance gives those same sensations as nails on a chalkboard. Skarsgard offers some relief as Herr Lubert, initially polite and submissive to the English command his character becomes more complex when he begins to take interest in Rachel - Skarsgard even makes the physical scenes feel a little less wooden.
There is this clever idea of violation lying beneath the surface of The Aftermath but this is cast aside for a muted romance. With British soldiers tactlessly lauding over German citizens you are naturally wound up by disrespectful manners, but it's equally intriguing to see Skarsgard's down-to-earth character boil over in rage when pushed. There is an odd sub plot involving his daughter and the remaining Nazi's, but this sort of hovers in the atmosphere with little importance and doesn't really go anywhere.
The Aftermath is engaging escapism making use of some striking landscape shots of delicate snow topped trees of post-war Germany, however, it fails completely as a romantic thriller with a really poor and embarrassing effort from Knightley.
"Beale Street is a street in New Orleans where my father, where Louis Armstrong and the Jazz were born. Every black person born in America was born on Beale Street, born in the black neighbourhood of some American city, whether in Jackson, Mississippi, or in Harlem, New York. Beale Street is our legacy". Barry Jenkins makes this eloquent opening statement as the credits roll in the beginning of his heartbreaking follow up to Moonlight.
Following his Best Picture winning coming-of-age drama, Jenkins returns with yet another overwhelmingly gorgeous work of art. Beale Street serves almost like a second chapter in his portfolio of race related stories. Lifted from the pages of James Baldwin's potent novel, If Beale Street Could Talk provides a glimpse into the life of Tish - a young woman embracing her pregnancy in Harlem during the 1970's. Meanwhile, her family do everything in their power to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime he has been wrongly accused of.
Jenkins makes falling in love feel like a brand new concept. Through his documentary style married with Nicholas Britell's overpowering score and James Laxton's beguiling cinematography, Beale Street is an intimate look at agape - and how trusting love all the way binds us together in a vicious world ruled by hatred. Specifically, Beale Street visualises a young girl's coming of age in a brutal yet beautiful Harlem setting - burning sexual passion and complex family relationships are the flames lit beneath this heart-aching romance.
Kiki Layne was sorely neglected a Best Actress nom. We are aligned with Tish from the outset. Fresh-faced, benevolent and gentle, this adolescent on the cusp of adulthood is on a crash course about the wider world during her pregnancy. Layne delicately portrays the leap from childhood, highlighting her endearing naivety and innocence. Her coy nature gradually fades away as we share her new experiences. You feel the elation and significance of her first sexual encounter, the warmth of her skin pressed against Fonny's, the rain scuttling against the windows and the crackling sound of the record player. Jenkins delivers an extremely raw and sensual narrative, so much so that it's rather astonishing that none of it is actually real.
But that's the power and art of his direction, the ability to take heavy subtext and transform it into a personal cinema experience like no other. The colour green plays an integral role in the film, Tish's blouse, Fonny's shirt, Mamma River's dress, the curtains of the family apartment, even the street they live in is cast in subtle shades of olive. Jenkins ingeniously reinforces the film's themes of life, growth and fertility - it's the colour that ties the family to one another, even when Fonny is chained behind thick sheets of glass. It also ties them to the real Beale Street. Religious connotations can also be discovered in Britell's provocative score: "Eden", "Eros" and "Keeper of the Keys and Seals" fabricate the stunning romance.
In If Beale Street Could Talk, a look really does say a thousand words. Jenkins taps into our soul with characters gazing directly into the camera: he envisions the devotion between Tish and Fonny, the enmity of Officer Bell and the motherly support of Regina King's genuinely impeccable performance as Sharon Rivers. He captures the small intricacies of human expression, utilising the camera in a profoundly personal manner. Beale Street gives love a whole new meaning.
If Beale Street Could Talk:
Years ago you'd have scoffed at the notion of a feature length film centred around LEGO people. Yet with a dollop of Lord and Miller magic, and along with help from the genius animation department, The LEGO Movie proved to be a sucker punch of creative storytelling. Warner Bros knew they'd struck gold and of course - in typical Hollywood fashion - they followed 2014's "piece of resistance" with two more off the wall, but progressively aimless outings.
Everything is mostly awesome for the brick blockbuster franchise now however. Hurling you straight back into the zany realm of LEGO, a battle-scarred Wyldstyle (Lucy) broods over the fall of Bricksberg. Five years after the catastrophic events of Taco Tuesday, citizens of the newly retitled Apocalypseburg face a new threat - LEGO DUPLO space invaders - who are tearing the city apart. The fierce General Mayhem captures Lucy and the gang, and it's up to Emmett to trek across the Sis-Star System in order to save them.
The LEGO Movie 2 welds the derelict landscape of a dystopian Mad Max future with the glittery energy of a four year old girl's bedroom. Everybody has assembled their own post-apocalyptic vehicle and everything is cast in gritty shades of brown and beige - but this doesn't dent this outing's spirit or make it too bland. Chris Pratt makes a wonderful return as the sickly sweet and naively enthusiastic Emmet, who seems un-phased by the destruction of his town. This wacky follow-up sees the gentle do-gooder quest for maturity after Lucy criticises his inability to adjust to the harsh times.
Joining Emmett on his space odyssey is Rex Dangervest - galaxy defending archeologist, cowboy and raptor trainer. Rex is also played by Pratt (funny that?) and the film is all the better for it - definitely double the Pratt, double the power. This boisterous spaceman embodies the actor's most ionic roles, there are Pratt references peppered throughout. He's a brilliantly worked character who manipulates his way into all aspects of the narrative. Looking past the dinos and sewer babies The LEGO Movie 2 is drenched in glitter. In this sparkly sequel Lord and Miller beam us through the Sis-star system - an overwhelmingly pink and purple cosmos that is as mad as a March hare.
In Mike Mitchell (Trolls, Alvin and the Chipmunks - Chip-wrecked) we have a different Director in the cockpit, and it shows. Mitchell delivers the complex metaphors that none other than creators Lord and Miller could properly conceive. Out of nowhere The LEGO movie commented on kids imagination and freedom of expression with understated genius, but The LEGO Movie 2 focuses on the conflict between girls' toys and boys' toys. The message is rather force fed and doesn't really resonate emotionally - nevertheless it's still above the average animation.
Every time Lord and Miller return they up the anti of jokes and wacky cameos - did you expect a guest appearance from Ruth Bader Ginsberg? The fact that The LEGO Movie 2 isn't as awesome as its predecessor doesn't really matter - let's face it, it was inevitable. This rainbow musical has surges of stir-crazy wonder, even though the story is unfittingly ordinary.
The LEGO Movie 2:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.