The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
Michael Potts | 22/03/2019
Not quite on the level of the original, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is nonetheless a worthy sequel with plenty of heart as well as laughs.
Picking up where the first Lego Movie left off, Emmett (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and their friends are confronted by the Duplo block aliens of the Systar System (in reality, brother and sister, Finn and Bianca, playing together with their respective toys). Fighting breaks out and five years pass, with the Lego peoples’ home of Bricksburg being turned into the post-apocalyptic ‘Apocalypseburg’, which is periodically attacked by the Duplo invaders. Emmett alone maintains an upbeat attitude, and is considered by everyone, including Lucy, to be too immature and idealistic. Lucy, Batman and three others, however, are soon kidnapped by General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) and taken to the shapeshifting ruler of the Systar System, Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Tiffany Haddish). Fearing that this will bring about the cataclysm of "Armamageddon", Emmett gives chase and teams up with the mysterious and edgy Rex Dangervest along the way. Not all is how it seems, however, and the fate of Finn and Bianca’s imaginary play world hangs in the balance.
Much like its predecessor, Lego Movie 2 is very strong in the humour department, with often sharp jokes and one liners delivered with adept timing. It is noticeable that a few of the stabs at humour feel a little forced or contrived, but these are rare and are more due to the constraints inherent in a sequel. This fact also affects the overall writing and the impact of the film. While the film has the freedom to do what it wants with an established universe, and it does a great deal in expanding the existing Lego world, the flipside of this particular coin means that the novelty of the concept isn’t there anymore (including spinoffs, this is the fourth movie in the franchise).
This said, the writers do put in a laudable effort, crafting a story which logically carries on from the underlying story and conflicts of the original. Where the first was about the relationship between father and son, this focuses on that between siblings and convincingly translates the real life issues of Finn and Bianca into conflicts affecting their fantasy world. Lego Movie 2’s central message of darkness and grittiness not being the same as maturity and working for the best despite everything not always being “awesome” is also wonderfully, if at times bluntly, woven into the fabric of the plot.
One part of this film which certainly improves on its predecessor is the music. ‘Everything is Awesome’, the first film’s iconic track, is back with a remix, but Lego Movie 2 back this up with some fun, clever as well as catchy songs (there is, in fact, a song called the ‘Catchy Song’ – the naming is apt). Probably the highlight of the soundtrack, though, is ‘Not Evil’, performed by Tiffany Haddish as Queen Whatevra, though ‘Super Cool’ is notable for making the movie credits fun and worth sticking around for. Like the songs, the film’s voice work is to a high standard, with an already strong cast being bolstered by even more great performances by both bigger and smaller names.
Last but not least, Lego Movie 2 maintains the franchise’s high animation quality which is backed up by excellent scene construction and choreography of character movement and action. The stop-motion-esque CGI of the franchise is taken one step further in this outing, with greater detail and visual quality complementing the existing high standard of character motion already mentioned. This is a real visual treat.
Tons of fun for viewers of all ages, Lego Movie 2 is sure to be a winner with the whole family.