When The Lego Movie was announced many people laughed it off. “It’ll probably be so dumb, just a cash grab, but kids will probably love it and adults will suffer through it for them.”
Gosh, we couldn’t have been more wrong. Released in February 2014, The Lego Movie was a huge hit, and for a multitude of reasons. It had a great cast, and great music (not just the score, but of course “Everything is Awesome”). Oh and that, the “no-one saw it coming” twist ending that not only fit the outline of the plot incredibly well but also brought sincere heart to the movie. Ultimately, the movie was about family. Naturally, due to the success of the film, a sequel was rapidly called for.
When that news came about, of course I got nervous. While the Lego brand is a franchise on the toy shelf, I thought to myself why couldn’t they just leave well enough alone with what we have, movie-wise? The first film was something truly special and to be truthful I was still made that it was snubbed at the 2015 Oscars.
However, with Hollywood being a sequel/reboot/remake machine these days, a follow up was inevitable. Five years later, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is finally here. The main cast has all returned, Phil Lord and Chris Miller are back as writers (but not as directors like they were for the first movie) and a new song has been introduced to us in this universe to become an earworm.
This film picks up right after the events of the original, with the sister coming downstairs to play with the “Planet Duplo” blocks. The movie alerts us this takes place five years after the event of the first film, just like in real life. Bricksburg is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland a la Mad Max. Wyldstyle/Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) is now super broody. While she still cares for Emmett (Chris Pratt), she believes he needs to toughen up a bit because he still maintains the optimistic world view that he had so strongly in the first movie. He’s still an innocent soul even as the world around him is falling apart.
The rest of the crew are back as well. Batman (Will Arnett) is back but he’s not as much of a scene-stealer anymore since he had his own movie. Benny (Charlie Day), MetalBeard (Nick Offerman), and Unikitty (Allison Brie) have reduced screen time, although I will say Unikitty has one of the best moments in the entire movie
During the course of events, members of the gang, sans Emmett, are captured by General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) and whisked away to the “Sistar System,” led by Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish). Wa’Nabi seems a little suspicious but ends up winning the affections of everyone except Wyldstyle, who tries to get to the bottom of the larger plot point at play here.
Emmett is determined to find everyone and in his travels he encounters Rex Dangervest (also Chris Pratt). Dangervest is basically a Lego-ized version of Chris Pratt himself, which leads to a lot of meta jokes about the actor and those gags are pretty funny.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part has a lot of laugh out loud moments, great cameos, a new catchy tune and a good heart. However, it suffers from sluggish pacing, and worst of all — it sadly goes without saying that the novelty of the first film has wore off here. The film also peeks into the human world a lot more in this film, and the element of surprise this brought in the first film is is gone.
The only other complaint besides the pacing and the loss of novelty is the musical numbers. Haddish’s Wa’Nabi breaks out into song at random times and it’s a weird choice. While she does have a strong song with Batman towards the end of the film, it’s just odd that this film injected musical numbers throughout the movie, when the movie only had the ‘Everything is Awesome’ sequence. It’s just an unusual choice to add to the movie, and it doesn’t really add as much as it distracts and detracts.
At the end of the day, I still love these characters and this universe. This sequel does effectively and logically build upon the original story. It’s reflected not only in the minifigs but also the real people manipulating them.
The Lego Movie andThe Lego Movie 2: The Second Part are very similar to Lord and Miller’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs series. They both wrote and directed the first one, which ended up being way better than it should’ve been. The sequel just had them as writers, and while the movies themselves were pretty good, it just didn’t have the same “oomph” the first one did.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a fun movie with some good laughs, a sweet heart, a catchy song, and a great end credits sequence. Overall it’s a good movie. However, it just wasn’t assembled as strongly. I don’t know if a third film is in the works, but if it is, I’ll gladly see it. I just hope they build some magic back into it.