The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
SHOULD I SEE IT?
The line begins right over there. Come on. You’re so going to see this, if, in any way, you saw the first film.
The hyperkinetic look and feel returns with all your favorite characters, dazzling animation, great songs, funny cameos, and a very similar vibe to the first The LEGO Movie in 2014.
Balances more of the animation with the real-life elements this time around, and takes the ideas of The LEGO Movie and expands on some of the more emotional circumstances at play here.
If you were not a fan of The LEGO Movie, nothing in this movie is going to change your mind. It follows much of the same formula as the first film.
Some jokes flatline pretty badly, there are a few too many battle sequences early on, and the movie feels long at 106 minutes. Are we starting to see diminished returns?
It’s a kids movie. You don’t watch, get, understand, or even bother with children’s films.
After blowing the doors off audiences and critics alike in 2014, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s The LEGO Movie still shines as one of the biggest surprises of the decade. Many of us still remember so many people ready to dismiss a movie with LEGO in the title, as just another terrible, corporate boardroom, product placement creation, designed to sell more plastic locking toys.
And, okay, in fairness, it was all of that, but…that terrible part? Nope. We were all so wrong.
The inventiveness of the 2014 film delivered moviegoers a go-for-broke, hilarious, and madcap blend of comedy, pop culture gags, and ventured deep into the imaginative mind we all have within us. A poignant reveal, about 250,000 rapid-fire jokes (give or take), and an Oscar-nominated theme song, “Everything is Awesome!!!,” helped made The LEGO Movie a massive success.
On the heels of a rise in LEGO animated television series and video games, and spinoff movies The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie, it makes sense that the original concept returns for a sequel. And The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is going to make a whole lot of money and sell all kinds of LEGO gift and movie-themed toy sets.
However, this time the toys look a little worn around the edges. A step down from its predecessor, The LEGO Movie 2 is still a dazzling, visual marvel of a movie, returning most of the main characters from the 2014 film, and more than a dozen different voiceover cameos. Lord and Miller cede the director’s chair to Trolls director Mike Mitchell, writing a screenplay that tries to catch lightning in a bottle for a second time.
Picking up five years after the first film’s events have wrapped up, we open on the remnants of Bricksburg, now dubbed Apocalypseburg. If we work with the premise The LEGO Movie taught us - everything happening within the LEGO world is borne out of exaggerated fantasies created by the children playing with the toys - then we should acknowledge that now-teenage brother Finn (Jadon Sand) must have really loved Mad Max: Fury Road.
Lucy, or Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), now leads the ragtag group of plastic heroes, while boyfriend Emmet (Chris Pratt) is just as aloof and cheerful as ever. With chaos and destruction all around him, he still finds a way to get his morning latte, be super sweet to Lucy, and listen to various different remixes of “Everything is Awesome!!!” on his headphones.
He is completely oblivious to the escalating war exploding around him and his peers, which finds Wyldstyle fighting General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz), leader of an army from the Systar System. She discloses that her leader, Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), wants to marry Batman (Will Arnett), and successfully captures Wyldstyle’s faction of Batman, Unikitty (Alison Brie), Metalbeard the Pirate (Nick Offerman), Benny (Charlie Day), and Lucy/Wyldstyle herself.
As Batman is isolated with the Queen, Emmet decides to try and save his friends and departs Apocalypseburg in his house, now a spaceship. In outer space, he encounters bounty hunter Rex Dangervest (also Pratt), and together, the duo attempts to free Emmet’s friends and save the entire universe at the same time.
In some ways, The LEGO Movie 2 is more ambitious from a storyline perspective. By reminding us that humans, or more specifically, brother Finn and sister Bianca (Brooklynn Prince), are essentially controlling this universe, Lord and Miller and aiming for a more relatable, personal connection to the adventure. Efforts to thread the needle between the movie’s overzealous youthful enthusiasm and more mature ideas and concepts, touching on the importance of family and the loss of innocence the older you become, work relatively well.
There are numerous jokes however, and the movie hits its stride when the humor takes over and an overwrought number of fight and battle sequences fall by the wayside. Elements of the film are a bit uneven however. Watching The LEGO Movie 2, you feel as if the awesome, shiny machine you loved playing with a few years back, which hasn’t been touched in a while, needs time to blow the dust off, warm up and find its rhythm once again.
Cameos are frequent, the list of prominent voices captured in the cast list below. And once we settle into the story, and Lord and Miller’s script and Mitchell’s vision for the film land on the same page, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part becomes a great deal of fun.
Slickly animated, frenzied in its delivery – if you loved The LEGO Movie then you are likely going to be enamored with much of what transpires here.
With that said, despite plenty of clever and amusing moments, and two ingenious musical interludes, including The Lonely Island, Beck, and Robyn’s brilliant closing credits song (“Super Cool”) and “Catchiest Song,” a straight-up earworm by Dillon Francis, T-Pain & That Girl Lay Lay, The LEGO Movie 2 feels like a franchise flirting with the reality that, while still entertaining and fun, perhaps we have reached the moment where we are reminded that everything cannot stay awesome forever.
CAST & CREW
Starring: Maya Rudolph, Jadon Sand, Brooklynn Prince.
Featuring the Voices of: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Ben Schwartz, Noel Fielding, Jason Momoa, Cobie Smulders, Ike Barinholtz, Ralph Fiennes, Will Forte, Bruce Willis, Jimmy O. Yang.
Director: Mike Mitchell
Written by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Release Date: February 8, 2019