Lego Movie 2
Once again, im presented an opportunity to talk about how my love of playing with toys has been crucial to the development of my imagination and creativity. There’s no way Lord and Miller could’ve pulled this script off without having playtime similarly be intrinsic to their artistry especially regarding Mike Mitchells continued Animated success with “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.”
Perched high above the city of Bricksburg, Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) brooding and speaking altruistically details the peril that has fallen upon their world after a mysterious group of LEGO DUPLO invaders have plunged citizens into post-apocalyptic despair. Five years have passed since those events. Ever cheery Emmet (Chris Pratt) still believes everything is awesome despite an ever-growing threat. The Two alongside Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), and all their friends look to thwart the assumed dastardly plans of Queen Watevra Wa’Naabi (Tiffany Haddish) who is looking to find a king to share her musical kingdom with in the “Sistar System.”
Of course, what makes The LEGO Movie franchise unique is the reveal in the first film of the toy universe playing out in real life as a story between a father and son. Similarly, in this sequel we advance the story further tackling familial themes, social issues, identity and getting along.
For a 6year old, many of those themes will fly right over their head but like the original this movie is a fun time for all ages and serves as a lens to some real-life issues. The plot, however does succumb to some shortcomings that most sequels do.
Trying to match the joke count in a comedy while trying to stay fresh. Introducing new characters and leaving behind some returning ones and not being able to move their stories forward. Also, not being able to be the surprise hit you were before.
Expectations for this film were grand as now it’s the 4th since the original; after The LEGO Batman and LEGO Ninjago spin offs. We now have Finn (the young son from the first movie) a little older having trouble playing with and relating to his younger sister Bianca. There worlds collide with their toys being collateral damage. A fight between the 2 of them sends Emmet accidentally to “Undar Da Driar System (Under the drier). He meets a fierce and chiseled Rex Danger-Vest who agrees to help him find his friends who were captured by the queen and taken into the Stair Gate and to stop his vision of “Ourmomageddon” from happening.
The A story is a compelling one of its own but does fall a little victim to the melodramatic B story that is the catalyst for events. The real drama is depicted between Finn and Bianca being told to put away their toys by their mom (Maya Rudolph). These type of family stories aren’t tackled as tactfully as they used to be back in the 90’s but I give this movie credit for being bold in that attempt.
What’s tough to comprehend though, is what is the nature between these 2 universes? Like “Toy Story,” are our heroes truly sentient operating in secret, or is their animation solely dependent on the imagination power of Finn and Bianca? That question leads to some paradoxical holes that are at work in the script but are quite small in the purpose of the film to be a laugh out loud, music driven, romp to spark continued imagination for a kid’s movie.
I almost feel a little silly trying to dissect the composition elements at work here because some movies are just meant to be a god time. We are talking about toys here, right? So, what if the time travel plot device isn’t pulled off without a hitch? When are they ever? It’s even made plain its doing that, and it doesn’t care by the number of self-referential jabs it takes at the genre. The movie succeeds because it doesn’t take its self so seriously and is Meta in all the right spots.
The music is brilliant and purposely catchy. As is the case by a song literally titled “Catchy Song”. My daughter hasn’t stopped singing it since we left the theater Saturday morning. The animation still is a testament to the creators understanding of what makes LEGO pieces so unique and how you play with them. Every movement is purposeful and endearing to true toy-playing.
The cast, just as vast as the first brings home amazing vocal work, with standouts featuring Tiffany Haddish’s Queen Watevra and Will Arnett’s Batman. The script while not perfect is another hit for LORD and Miller who are on the role and readying us for much more to come from the duo of writers.
The LEGO Movie 2 is an absolute must watch and the 1st Family hit of the new year to take you on a roller coaster ride with emotional twists and turns and loopty loops of comedy and action. Make sure to stay through to the end as the credits are as entertaining as the film and does so much service to the industry.
KOLBYTOLDME RATING- 8/10
Director: Mike Mitchell
Writer: Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Matthew Fogel
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish
Run Time: 106 mins