Review: The Lego Movie 2, The Second Part, (107 minutes) ****

DEPENDING on your point of view, Lego, the toy giant, are either brilliant entrepreneurs or a global ecological disaster, with an estimated 400 billion lego bricks in existence.

About half of those are at my house: my son is one of thousands of North Yorkshire children who love building with the coloured plastic.

With an eye for an expanding empire, Lego cannily acquired the Star Wars licensing rights in 1999 (in retrospect a high point for capitalism), and the franchise has spawned a host of new products including video games and animated films. The Lego Movie, and a sequel about Batman, have been globally successful. Now The Lego Movie 2 is here.

Plot summaries will be mostly absent from this review: it's impenetrable, nonsensical stuff, but suffice to say it involves a character with a thirst for power, another dimension (as all children's films seem to have these days), and a lot of stuff that can be turned into merchandise to sell to kids. (Star Wars has a lot to answer for.)

The film's everyman hero, Emmet (voiced by a suitably straight-faced Chris Pratt) plays straight man to the amusing traits of other characters. The script is very funny:  I laughed more than my eight-year-old companion.

The tongue-in-cheek irony of the dialogue is really fun. "Marvel won't return our calls," says a character at one point (Batman is the property of Marvel's arch rival, DC Comics), and a camp vampire character is ridiculous ("I DJ on the side and wear women's jeans," he intones).

This film could easily be used on university campuses for cultural studies in the very near future: it's stuffed with postmodern intertextual references, from a hilarious cameo of Bruce Willis stuck in a ventilation shaft to nods to Radiohead, Back To The Future, Elton John's glasses, The Matrix and Jurassic Park. It's not profound, it's not unique, but it is a lot of fun.

Review by Miles Salter, York writer, musician and storyteller