The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part - Review
The Lego Movie was one of the most delightful surprises of 2014. A film that seemed like a giant commercial on the surface, turned out to be a sweet, funny, poignant masterpiece. The follow-up, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part doubles down on the premise of the first. It gives more of the same, which in this case is a positive.
The film starts out as Mad Max: Lego Road. If it had stayed on that trajectory, we might have been in for an even bigger treat. But the version of the story we got was sufficient. It evolves the two main characters, Emmet and Lucy even further. Both have strong arcs. The problem is, they spend most of the movie separated from each other in order to make those journeys work. The pure joy of Emmet and Lucy were seeing them interact with each other.
At the heart of the sequel though, is sibling rivalry. It uses the live action twist of the first one and pits brother vs sister. It teases it through the film, and makes the twist of this film a bit less shocking. The message the franchise preaches - different is okay, be yourself, and don't be afraid of it - is at the forefront the entire time. Emmet wanting to emulate Rex really drives the point home, especially when the film reveals who Rex is. Every truly great children's story should have a lesson attached. From Aesop's Fables to Spongebob Squarepants, it can't be children's entertainment if there is no lesson learned. Lego Movie 2 does that extremely well.
The heart and humor associated with the franchise is alive and well here. From Batman, who Will Arnett so brilliantly portrays, to the meta humor of the characters, there are a lot of laughs to be had. Even the cameos, while not as many as the first one, still have a lot to offer. Especially one in particular. It is the funniest moment in the movie, and then the callback is even better.
The Lego Movie 2 has some of the faults that most sequels fall into. A sequel needs a fair balance of same and different. Bad sequels are either virtual carbon copies of the first movie, or so radically different that everything you loved about the first is missing. One is too safe, the other is too different. The Lego Movie 2 has a lot of the same, but in this instance it's welcome. While the story absolutely moves the universe forward, there is nothing groundbreaking The Lego Movie 2 has to offer like its predecessor had.
Out of the four theatrical Lego films, this one ranks third. It has just as much heart as Ninjago did, but being invested in the already familiar characters helps put it over the top of that one. The Lego Batman Movie made a very emotional story out of the comic relief from The Lego Movie, and paid tribute to every era of the caped crusader. It was more focused, and had a tighter story than The Lego Movie 2. Then of course there is the first Lego Movie which is truly a joyful masterpiece. The Lego Movie 2 is a lot of fun, as are all three of its predecessors. But it is uneven.
Any person with a sibling can relate to The Lego Movie 2. It was like they plucked this experience right out of my childhood, and threw it up on the screen. In some ways, that is exactly what they did. The movie did a great job in being universal. Someone can find something to relate to, to learn from, and to evolve from. It is a fun way to spend 106 minutes. You'll laugh, smile, and think. Audiences can't ask for much more than that.
There is always room for a sequel, but The Lego Movie 2 did a great job wrapping everything up. If that is truly the end of the story, then it ended on a high note.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is in theaters now.