Lino DiSalvo (director)
09 August 2019 (released)
07 August 2019
Once you get past the cynical view that this was inevitable following the success of the Lego movies and the flogging of their kingdoms and wares, this is actually a good fun movie that has its eye firmly on its core audience: children. There is very little here that is aimed at the probable accompanying adult audience which is actually quite refreshing.
The film opens with a catchy pop- song a la Frozen though doesn’t have that earworm. It’s a joyful introduction to the characters of brother and sister Charlie and Marla that’s dramatically cut short. Four years on older sister Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) are on their own with domestic pressures mounting and fractures in the relationship.
One argument to far and Charlie runs off to find himself sneaking into a huge Playmobil presentation. Chased by his sister through magic they find themselves transported in to Playmobil world. It’s swift, funny learning curve as they struggle to get used to stiff limbs and retina scorching colours.
Charlie has taken on the guise of a Viking and is now super strong which is an asset as he’s plunged into the middle of a battle and another bouncy song. So with some corporate logic Charlie and Marla find themselves chased around the various Playmobil kingdoms picking up friends on the way as well a good few enemies, as Charlie has picked some Viking gold that clearly has great currency and power. The plot thickens as they are split up and motives become clearer with what are literally playground villains.
The film moves at a cracking pace, with quick fine dialogue though let down by a smattering of not very memorable songs. More attractive are the various villains and goodies chief being the ludicrously comically evil Maximus (Adam Lambert) and the equally silly secret agent Austin Powers derived, though Bond attired Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe). It’s a great cast who are clearly enjoying themselves with their characters, which translates well in the film.