22 Jump Street: when a newer drug (WhyPhy) appears at a college campus, so the dream team must go back undercover to infiltrate and take down the operation. I’d say this is hands-down better, and more consistently funny than the original (which was a great comedy film); playing with the familiar College/Frat and Buddy Cop genres; but having that extra cushion of self-referential jokes about 21 Jump Street in there too – of which there are plenty. As pointed out early by Ice Cube, it sticks rigidly to the structure of the first movie – but can afford to do so because of the great script, absolutely solid comedic timing from the central characters, and a strong ensemble cast. It also contains a fantastic tongue-in-cheek end credits sequence. 22 Jump Street is exactly more of the same, but when the original is so funny, is that really a bad thing?
The Lego Movie: Emmet Brickowski is a follow-the-manual kind of guy, but when he bumps in to a master builder his life changes forever. Anyone that’s ever played with Lego can relate to the film’s settings, and it’s good fun just trying to spot old and quirky pieces like the glow-in-the-dark ghost. The entire film looks brilliant, vibrant and ridiculously detailed – characters even have slight thumbprints. There’s a grade-A voice cast, with a lot of distinguishable and entertaining character actors in the mix. It’s also one of the few films that is universally funny; covering the slapstick / physical gags but including a layer of smart ‘adult’ satire and running gags for the duration – it’s consistently funny. There are a few stumbling blocks though: the bigger action scenes are too fast/shaky/blurry to keep up with; the split realities at the end knocks the wind out of the finale’s sail; some of the Lego franchises feel shoe-horned in; and for a film that preaches “use your imagination” to everyone, it’s literally a scene-for-scene re-telling of The Matrix… which is a touch disappointing and hypocritical. However, all things considered, The Lego Movie is a damn fine kids film, and even a damn fine film by normal standards. Highly entertaining and uplifting, if unapologetically unoriginal, family BLOCK-buster.