DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games

"DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games" is the second direct to video movie in the groundbreaking DC Super Hero Girls universe celebrating young girls and encourages them to explore their own powers and strengths through original content by Warner Bros Animation, Warner Consumer Products, DC Entertainment, Mattel, and Random House, including movies, webisodes, TV specials, graphic novels, digital comic book series, novels, action dolls, action figures, and LEGO sets. "The Intergalactic Games are here and Super Hero High is facing off against Korugar Academy, with a little help from the most prominent DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains in the galaxy." It previously released on Digital HD May 9, 2017, and will release on May 23, 2017 DVD ($19.99 SRP).

"DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games" continues the theme of a major competition serving as the backdrop of the story like Hero of the Year in the first movie last year. This time, Super Hero High is the venue for the finale to the Intergalactic Games - a competition by all the galaxy's high schools for supers. The expanded core cast is back as they face off against a rival school, old enemies, one that's hidden among them, and one more new villain for the road. In the face of escalating challenges and twists, the Super Hero High cast stays true to themselves and uses both their brains and brawn to protect their school. "DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games" marks the half-way point of what looks to be another strong year of getting our cape on.

The story begins with preparations for the Intergalactic Games finale as Super Hero High prepares to receive the team from Korugar Academy. Ambassador Bek runs the games with Principal Waller on hand to make sure her school is kept safe during the festivities. Doc Magnus' newest inventions, a team of robots named Platinum, Iron, and Lead go haywire and run amok in Metropolis. The girls put an end to their rampage by using their wits and employ electromagnetic pulses. Magnus reveals the tech is meant to be cutting edge and his Responsometer will make them almost human. However, Waller defers to Batgirl who thinks they're too dangerous and should be destroyed. Lena, the I.T. girl, has other plans for Platinum and brings her new allies, Granny Goodness and the Female Furies to the games. Granny claims to have an invitation and Bek clears them. The competition continues but soon it's apparent Granny and Furies were just pawns and Lena is working with someone else. Wonder Woman struggles with making a good impression with Bek in order to get an invite to an exclusive student summit. Big Barda is tempted and manipulated by the Furies but she remains steadfast in defending her new home. Starfire is ecstatic to spend time with her sister Blackfire, who attends Korugar Academy, but it becomes a cold reunion. Lena's Kryptomite, a sentient form of Kryptonite, gets loose and the supers makes preparations for another possible outbreak. With the score at a draw between Super Hero High and Korugar, the games come to a grinding halt when Lena reveals she is the sister of Lex Luthor and proceeds to destroy all supers with her Kryptobot army. The supers spring into action and are joined by some new allies as the real threat reveals itself.

The movies are a great capstone to several months worth of plot and released content like the webisodes and graphic novels while still setting up new storylines to come. Intergalactic Game follows suit. If you've been following along with season 3 of the webisodes, Starfire has been featured a lot so plugging in Intergalactic Games and seeing her in the spotlight again makes a lot of sense. Big Barda's sub-plot continues into its next phase as she comes face to face with her former team, the Furies. Wonder Woman's role as the student organizer for the games makes her inclusion organic to the movie It was great to see her stand up for herself against Ambassador Bek and help her friends save the school rather than preserve her own interests and protect him. I get that Wonder Woman, Bumblebee, Harley, Ivy, Katana, Supergirl and Batgirl are the main cast and have to have big roles... But at this point, I'm way more interesting in seeing the rest of the student body getting the focus and being expanded on. So I was definitely latched onto Starfire and Barda's stories. Lashina, the new leader of the Furies, debuts in a season 3 webisode but remained a little enigmatic. It was great to see her fleshed out and a nice twist she had a personal connection with Barda. Lobo appeared in the second graphic novel "Hits and Myths" -- it was great to see him again and overall for a legitimate rival school featured. Better yet, they're a nice mirror to Super Hero High rather than being straight up villains like the Furies. Platinum and the other two Metal Men were introduced in the "Past Times at Super Hero High" digital comic as villains on an alternate timeline. It's good to see there's a variety of ways to enroll at Super Hero High - the traditional way, introducing characters in supporting roles first like Batgirl, or villains gone good like Bard and now with Platinum.

Another great capstone in this movie was Lena. Set up all the back to the first graphic novel "Finals Crisis," Lena's big plan finally comes to fruition. However, I'm on the fence about the execution in the writing of her plan and how it was revealed. It was odd they waited until this movie to reveal her fake last name only for her real identity to be revealed almost immediately (not that it was a mystery to those of us who are a little older than the intended audience I mean). Also strange, if she was so intent on destroying the supers once and for all... Why just the Green Kryptomites? Plus, she wanted the citizens of Metropolis on her side and making use of the Red Kryptomites with their anger powers would have bolstered her efforts. The LEGO webisodes introduced a bunch of other colors with other powers, too. I didn't care for beating us over with the 'we're allies, nah you're a pawn' twist. I would have been fine with Lena being the main villain and leave it at that. Maybe I have to look back at the webisodes, but quickly walking us through the revelation of her alliance with Brainiac in this movie felt like it was too soon and a waste. Surely, he could have been saved for the next movie? Instead of Brainiac, I would have dug Lena combining all the robots into one giant as her back up plan instead. Brainiac slowed down the last act of the movie. The trophy ceremony also felt too tacked on. I was disappointed the victory was a technicality. Would have preferred bringing back Korugar to settle it once and for all. And no real follow up about Bek and his cowardice other than Hippolyta predictably praising her daughter.

The special features for Intergalactic Games, both Digital HD and DVD, is seven animates shorts from season two of the webisodes: New Beginnings, Hero of the Month: Supergirl, Batgirl vs. Supergirl, Quinn-tessential Harley, Doubles Trouble, Franken-Ivy, and Dude, Where's My Invisible Jet? The DVD release exclusively includes the music video for the song "That's My Girl". There is also trailers for the DC All Access App, Tom and Jerry: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year, and LEGO City Undercover. While the webisodes offer credits not seen anywhere else and you get some in a physical release like with the music video, it would have been informative to have a behind the scenes feature with individuals about year 2 of the franchise like Aria Moffly, DCE Creative Director, Shea Fontana, DCSHG animation writer and DC Comics graphic novel author, Lisa Yee, Random House Children's Books DCSHG Middle-Grade Novel Author, Christine Kim, Mattel Toy Design Manager, Tania Missad, Mattel Consumer Insights Director, and some of the cast. I'm always up for a commentary track, too. I'm sure there's plenty writer Shea Fontana, director Cecilia Aranovich Hamilton, and producer Jennifer Coyle have plenty to say. I would love for these movies to be released on Blu-ray as well but I guess it's not in the cards. And I'm still hoping the TV special "Super Hero High" and the LEGO animated content gets included even as just special features.

"DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games" ramps up the action and thrills as the girls (and guys) face threats from every direction but find the power in themselves to save the day and beat the competition with a little teamwork, gadgets, superpowers, and wits. While the movie has one too many surprises, the entertainment factor never falters and the girls' personal storylines are as intriguing as they are relateable. "DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games" is a recommended purchase. But be a dear and throw in an extra mop for Parasite.

Main Feature: 4 out of 5
Special Features: 2 out of 5
Average Rating: 3 out of 5