Lego friends back for more adventure, action in fun sequel.
“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is the sequel to 2014’s hit “The Lego Movie.” Like the original, it’s a funny, entertaining adventure that centers on Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) and Lucy/Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). This time around, they’re defending themselves from mysterious invaders who seem bent on destroying Bricksburg — and then kidnap several of Emmet’s best friends, including Lucy. So you can expect lots of action, including chases, fights, rescues, explosions, weapon use, dinosaurs, spaceship battles and more. Since everything (and everyone) is made out of Lego, the stakes never feel too intense — but younger or more sensitive kids might be upset when sympathetic characters are in peril or argue with each other. Otherwise, content is quite mild, with a couple of uses of words like “heck” and “butt” and some flirting between characters (Batman also shows and sings about his pecs). And there are positive messages about perseverance, teamwork, friendship, cooperation and loving people for who they are, not who you think they should be. (106 minutes)
Well-made survival story has intense peril, some blood.
“Arctic” is a survival thriller about a stranded man (Mads Mikkelsen) who must decide whether to take a dangerous trek to save an injured woman’s life. It has moments of very intense peril and danger, as well as some blood; a stomach wound is stapled shut and an injured leg leaves a trail of blood in the snow. A minor character dies, and there’s a helicopter crash. A polar bear is involved in a jump-scare, and a man catches a fish and whacks its head to knock it unconscious. Language includes two uses of “f---ing.” Sex, drinking, drugs, smoking and consumerism aren’t issues. This lean, minimalist film is expertly made and rises well above many other examples of the genre; plus, it’s all about solving problems and overcoming challenges. (98 minutes)
Henson shines in mature, formulaic comedy.
“What Men Want” — a gender-flipped take on the 2000 Mel Gibson comedy “What Women Want” — is a fairly raunchy comedy about a woman (Taraji P. Henson) who suddenly gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts. Characters drink (sometimes too much), and an unwitting woman is served psychedelic “tea” that has marijuana and ecstasy in it (played for laughs). Another character sells marijuana illegally, and a doctor uses cocaine at work (he gets clean by the movie’s end). While there’s no graphic nudity — characters are covered by sheets or wearing underwear — sex scenes include eyebrow-raising movements and noises, and a woman chokes, pushes and slaps a man during sex while in pursuit of a climax (also played for laughs). It’s suggested that characters have grown positively when they agree to “share” sexual pleasure with each other. In one scene, a woman forcefully kisses a (willing) man; it ends with him wearing black BDSM gear on a swing. Language is also salty and frequent; expect to hear “f---,” “s---” and more. Women, including a main character in her late 40s, take strong, central roles and are unashamed about being powerful and sexual. Parents and children have supportive relationships, and there are themes of communication and empathy. (117 minutes)
Family tale with great dolphin footage; some suspense/action.
“Dolphin Kick” is a live-action story set on a tropical island that finds a young brother and sister “adopted” by “Echo,” a dolphin swimming solo. The movie is filled with positive messages about family harmony and dealing with grief, as well as our species’s promise and responsibility toward nature’s creatures. Viewers can also expect lots of relevant information about dolphins and their way of life. There are suspenseful moments in which both Echo and the kids are threatened by angry fishermen who learn that the dolphin has been tampering with their traps. A physical fight between two men and a scene in which the villains attempt to kill Echo with a spear supply the climactic moments before the story’s happy resolution. The film is best suited for kids who are comfortable with real vs. pretend scares, as the scenes of the dolphin in danger may be disturbing for some. (89 minutes)
Available via Amazon Prime streaming.
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