The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

lego_movie_two_the_second_part_ver8STARS3If ever there was a shortcut to a “fast” film review, it would be one question, Did you enjoy 2014’s The Lego Movie?  If so, then you should appreciate The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.  This one was also written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, although directing chores are now in the hands of Mike Mitchell (Trolls).  It’s another adventure that centers on Emmet (Chris Pratt) and Lucy/Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who must defend their beloved city.  Mysterious invaders have turned Bricksburg into a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  Batman (Will Arnett), Princess Unikitty (Alison Brie) Benny the Spaceman (Charlie Day) and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) have all returned in this outing.  They, in addition to Lucy, are taken prisoner by a masked general named Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz).  Not a traditional Lego, but rather an intergalactic mini-doll who reports to the enigmatic Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish).  Phonetically her name sounds like “Whatever-I-Want-To-Be” and that makes sense because she’s an alien queen of constantly shifting shapes.  Still always the plucky spirit, it’s up to Emmet to rescue his friends.

The colorful production is a big loud noisy clutter of sound and images.  There are battles and explosions, along with dinosaurs and spaceships.   The underlying explanation for its nonsensical nature is to mimic the imaginative stories that children make up with their toys.  The first picture was manic too, but there was at least some coherence to the story.   Here, action and dialogue merge in a virtual collage of pandemonium.  I must admit I longed for subtitles on more than one occasion to make sense of the chaos.   This has been done before so granted, the concept doesn’t feel as fresh as its predecessor.  They’ve somehow managed to produce two spinoffs (Batman, Ninjago) in the interim as well – so that’s 4 LEGO movies in 5 years. Obviously, the big reveal at the end of episode one can’t be the same wondrous surprise again.  However clever pop cultural allusions are there amidst all the manic energy.   I did laugh.   Bruce Willis briefly pops up in an amusing cameo.  Comedian Tiffany Haddish is a creative selection to portray the main villain.  Her raspy voice lends an inspired sass to her character.  This is a semi-musical of sorts and she gets to talk-sing her way through two ditties: “Not Evil” and “Gotham City Guys” – both comical musical confections.  So too is “Catchy Song” which features the refrain “This song’s gonna get stuck inside your head” and it probably will.  The narrative is a clever allegory for sibling rivalry.  The obligatory moral, which is so often awkwardly inserted in these kid flicks, feel refreshingly sincere.  Cooperation and getting along never goes out of style.

02-07-19

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4 Responses to “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

  1. “…action and dialogue merge in a virtual collage of pandemonium. I must admit I longed for subtitles on more than one occasion to make sense of the chaos.”

    Yes. There is a freaking ton of stuff going on all at once. I thought a great example was when The Catchy Song happens, that entire sequence was both amusing and disturbing. And overwhelming in its detail. Even as I experienced it I was just sitting there imagining what difficulties other audiences were having trying to make sense of all that was being put in front of them. The youngsters in attendance have an easier time with that, they can just enjoy the manic energy and the bright, flashy colors. Their parents? Hmm . . . From a third-person perspective that is actually really funny to me.

    So I am going to applaud the filmmakers for stuffing in as much as they can, but as it is a second installment, I have to deduct some points for an inability to keep things novel. Toy Story 2 did it, and while that is a high bar it shows that a sequel can actually be better than the original.

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    • Absolutely. You make an excellent point about the way children enjoy films. As a youngster, I could simply enjoy the color and music because it was novel. Now I expect a different experience.

      Toy Story 2 is one of the greatest sequels of all time. That’s a pinnacle that few (if any) films achieve.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was pretty fun. Not as good as the original, of course. I enjoyed it. 3 stars

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