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The Lego Movie 2

Before the original THE LEGO MOVIE was released, I will readily admit that was a little a skeptical as to how good it could possibly be. And, when I say “a little skeptical,” I mean, I thought it was quite literally the worst idea I had ever heard. Then, of course, I saw the film, and learned a little something about making assumptions. THE LEGO MOVIE was a rollicking, hilarious, and clever blast, featuring inventive animation, and a spectacular voice cast. Due to its success, the Lego franchise also enjoyed hits with THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, and THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE. While both of these were entertaining, they failed to match the ingenuity of the original. 

Given the fact that the LEGO brand is now synonymous with success, THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART, was an inevitability. Picking up immediately where the first film left off, Lego City and its inhabitants are elated to have survived the near catastrophic events of Taco Tuesday. With Lord Business no longer a threat, everything is awesome. Before the dust can clear, however, Duplo creatures arrive to establish themselves as part of the population. Emmet (Chris Pratt) attempts to make contact with the bizarre beings, but things escalate quickly and a devastating war ensues.

Five years later, Lego City is a scorched, MAD MAX-like wasteland. Buildings have been leveled, the landscape is barren, and the inhabitants are broken. Everyone is morose, and tortured. Everyone, of course, except for Emmet. While those around him have forgotten how to smile, Emmett says “Good Morning!” to literally everyone, and even builds a cheery home for Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). Before they can move in, however, an alien invader swoops down, kidnaps all of Emmett’s friends, and disappears.

The crew is back together with rapid fire jokes and drama that make the film engaging and entertaining.

Realizing that he stands as his friends only hope, Emmett turns his home into a ship, and takes off to find them. Along the way he meets the daring and rugged Rex (also voiced by Pratt) and together they hope to find Batman (Will Arnett), Wyldstyle, Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day), MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) and their captor, Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish).

Much like the original LEGO MOVIE, THE SECOND PART has countless rapid fire jokes that are rife with pop-culture references and gags. The majority of these will fly over the heads of most kids (and a number of parents, I would imagine) but the ones that land are absolutely hysterical. There are a number of new songs that attempt to join the ranks of the infections “Everything is Awesome,” and while they are certainly humorous, and ear-wormy (the transparent “Catchy Song” being the most intentionally obnoxious example) it isn’t until the closing credits tune by Beck featuring Robyn and The Lonely Island called “Super Cool” that the toes truly get tapping.

Rugged Rex and Emmett, both voices done by Chris Pratt.

It’s tough to recapture the unexpected and wholly original magic of the first LEGO MOVIE, and though the attempt was certainly there, this is where THE SECOND PART proves to be a little bit of a letdown. This, in itself, could be due to the expectations placed upon both projects. Five years ago, I don’t think there were many who were convinced that something entitled THE LEGO MOVIE could prove to be cinematic gold, and now, those same individuals expect its sequel to be the best animated movie of the year. It puts the film in a tough spot because, it really is entertaining. It’s funny, it’s engaging, and the sheer joy exuded by its talented cast is enough to keep it afloat, even when some of the bits aren’t landing. The animation itself is beautiful once again, particularly if you have spent hours playing with Legos, and realize the fact that virtually every brick seen on screen has gone through the bottom of your foot at least one time in your life. This fact is used effectively in a hilarious sequence featuring the phenomenal Maya Rudolph, and serves as one of the funnier bits in the entire production.

As a whole, children and parents will certainly find themselves entertained with the SECOND PART, even if it isn’t quite the transcending experience that the first film was. It’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of these characters, and with two additional Lego films currently in development (THE BILLION BRICK RACE and LEGO BATMAN MOVIE SEQUEL) the Universe will only continue to grow. The question that remains is, how long can it keep audiences curiosity piqued, and will it continue to engage its audience enough to justify its existence?

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

GRADE: B

RATED: PG

RUN TIME: 1h 47min

GENRE: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical

STARRING: Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman, Tiffany Haddish, Maya Rudolph

DIRECTOR: Mike Mitchell

Writers: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

A special thanks goes to Regal Cinemas at Destiny USA for allowing me to attend this month’s film.

Brian Miller
Film Critic
Based out of Central New York, Brian Miller is a film critic who works in television, radio, and print. Providing passionate and energetic takes on every movie he sees, he looks for the best in a movie, not the worst.