The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is another imaginative adventure, building off the first film in inventive ways, and a blast for viewers of any age.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the team behind such hits as 21 Jump Street and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, returned to animation in 2014 for The LEGO Movie, a spin on classic chosen one stories. The movie was such a critical and financial success that Warner Bros. launched plans for a whole shared universe of LEGO films, with two spinoffs arriving in 2017: The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie. While the former was another hit for the studio, the latter wasn’t as well received, nor was it as financially successful – though it did earn enough to be deemed a success. Still, fans eagerly anticipated the direct sequel to The LEGO Movie, which arrives this year in the form of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, a continuation of the cliffhanger ending from the first movie. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is another imaginative adventure, building off the first film in inventive ways, and a blast for viewers of any age.
The LEGO Movie 2 picks up directly after the final moments of the first film, with the Duplo alien invaders arriving in Bricksburg. Emmet (Chris Pratt) attempts to give the aliens a peace offering in the form of a LEGO heart, but the creatures destroy it and seemingly declare war on the citizens of Bricksburg. The story flashes forward five years, finding Emmet and Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) living in the apocalyptic wasteland that used to be Bricksburg, called Apocalypseburg, and all their friends have become more gritty and tough to deal with their new normal, which includes regular destructive alien attacks. During a new alien attack, General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) kidnaps Lucy, Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day) and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman), taking them to the Systar System.
Emmet follows his friends to the Systar System in an attempt to rescue them, and runs across the intergalactic hero Rex Dangervest (Pratt), who agrees to help Emmet learn how to be tough and grow up. Meanwhile, Lucy and the others are brought to meet the ruler of the Systar System, Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), who wants to marry Batman. Though Queen Watevra attempts to win over all the members of the group, Lucy remains suspicious of the queen’s intentions and believes the matrimonial ceremony will lead to an armageddon-like event. With Emmet and Rex attempting a rescue mission and Lucy trying to save her friends from being brainwashed by Queen Watevra, it remains to be seen if the team of Master Builders has what it takes to win this particular fight.
For The LEGO Movie 2, Lord and Miller returned to pen the script, but did not direct, with Mike Mitchell (Trolls, Sky High) taking the helm instead. Lord and Miller’s signature humor permeates the script of The LEGO Movie 2, with plenty of humor for the adult crowd (including a few jokes that will go over kids’ heads but still seem unbelievable to have made it into an animated family movie). Because of the inclusion of Batman and the Justice League, The LEGO Movie 2 features more than a few digs at Warner Bros’ live-action DC universe, though they’re all good-humored. Altogether, Lord and Miller’s script includes a great deal of one-liners that will have members of the audience laughing out loud – to the point that viewers may miss certain jokes because folks are still laughing at the last one.
But like The LEGO Movie, the humor of The Second Part is almost secondary to a more heartfelt story, this time about the struggle between growing up and maintaining a childlike innocence. This theme is shown through Emmet, who attempts to change his own innocent, optimistic nature in order to fit in with the new world his friends live in. Bringing back the live-action element from the first film, this theme is also explored through the boy from the first movie, Finn (Jadon Sand), and his little sister Bianca (Brooklynn Prince), who are constantly at odds due to their different ideas of how to play with the LEGOs. The LEGO Movie 2 also explores the potential downsides of growing up, like hardening your heart to emotions, causing distance between certain characters and those they love. It’s an important message that viewers young and old could do with learning or remembering.
As for the voice acting, Pratt pulls double duty in this movie, portraying both Emmet and Rex, and does an excellent job in differentiating the characters with his performance alone. Banks, and the rest of the returning cast from The LEGO Movie, embody their characters very well once again, while new additions like Haddish and Beatriz fit right into this animated world. The LEGO Movie 2 also includes a number of fun voice cameos that have been kept secret thus far (which we’ll refrain from spoiling here). Plus, live-action DC actors Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot and Margot Robbie lend their voices to the minifigure versions of their comic book characters, adding another level of meta humor when the movie pokes fun at the DCEU films. However, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return as Superman and Green Lantern, respectively, and are still especially fun as the Justice League superheroes. Altogether, the voice acting – which this time around includes a handful of songs that are super fun – is strong in The LEGO Movie 2.
Ultimately, The LEGO Movie 2 is very much a continuation from the first movie that builds off The LEGO Movie in compelling ways, tackling more mature themes but maintaining the original’s innocence and humor. The sequel also plays with the dynamic of The LEGO Movie in an interesting way, offering its own commentary on the tropes that were included in the first film. Additionally, The Second Part subverts expectations in terms of certain characters and its status as a family-friendly animated feature in an incredibly meta way, providing a refreshingly new movie experience. Altogether, it’s both what fans might expect from a sequel to The LEGO Movie and completely unexpected, with The LEGO Movie 2 offering some smart surprises in the follow-up.
As a result, The LEGO Movie 2 is perfect for fans of the original, especially those who critiqued The LEGO Movie for its positioning of Emmet as the hero even as Lucy did most of the heroic stuff. It’s a fantastic watch for families and, really, moviegoers of any age. Further, since The LEGO Movie 2 hits theaters in early February with a great deal less competition than at other times of the year, The Second Part has the potential to be another big success for Warner Bros. If that turns out to be the case, Warner Bros’ LEGO universe may continue on for many more years. Though The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part doesn’t feature any explicit setup for a threequel, fans would no doubt enjoy a third movie following these characters.
The LEGO Movie: The Second Part starts playing in U.S. theaters Thursday evening February 6th. It is 106 minutes long and rated PG for some rude humor.
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