It wasn’t hard to imagine we were seeing the birth of a franchise back in 2014 when The LEGO Movie hit theatres with awesome brick-based visuals, cutesy music and up-tempo humour that made it immediately stand out. Now, five years and two spinoffs later, we’re circling back for the appropriately named The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part to see how things are holding up.
Planet Duplo’s arrival (as seen at the end of the original) was just the start of repeated invasions that caused massive damage to the city of Bricksburg. Each time they tried to rebuild, the aliens returned and destroyed it. In an effort not to attract their attention, the citizens of Bricksburg formed Apocalypseburg, a wasteland that has hardened the resolve and friendliness of its people, with the exception of Emmet (Chris Pratt).
Still believing everything is awesome, Emmet builds a home for himself and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), inadvertently drawing General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) to investigate. After a short battle, Mayhem is triumphant and “invites” Batman (Will Arnett), Wyldstyle, Unikitty (Allison Brie) and others to a wedding. Here, Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) will marry Apocalypseburg’s leader.
As his friends are taken, Emmet decides he must pursue Mayhem through the Stairgate and retrieve them lest the prophecy of “Armamageddon” come to pass. He immediately encounters trouble but is rescued by Rex Dangervest (Pratt), who, along with his crew of raptors, wants to help Emmet stop the wedding. But can they make it in time?
If you ever played with LEGOs as a kid it’s hard not to enjoy the incredibly inventive way all the structures have been brought to life. The way it switches between slick animation and silly, ultra-cheap stuff is fun, too. Beyond the cleverness of the world, there are many fun cameos and little winks and nods to other film series and Warner Brothers properties, though it does feel scaled back relative to the original.
Voice acting and dialogue is consistently entertaining, and though the swap of Will Ferrell and Liam Neeson for Haddish and Beatriz is a net loss, the main characters carry the load, especially Pratt, who pulls double duty. His alter ego, Rex Dangervest, is a fun addition, and the obvious nods to Pratt’s other film work is clever. To that end, Rex’s trained raptors might be the single best part of the movie.
As with the original there are some fun songs that are sure to get stuck inside your head and/or your kids’ heads after watching them (one of which is entitled “Catchy Song” and features the actual lyric “this song’s gonna get stuck inside your head”). The downtrodden remix of “Everything is Awesome” (appropriately titled “Everything’s Not Awesome”) is the highlight.
While still entertaining, the sequel can’t match the original in which everything was fresh and new, and things like the Kragle hid their double meaning. This time we knew where they were going with the whole Armamageddon thing from the start — credit to Maya Rudolph for being funny in her short turn, though — and it lacked some of the general zaniness of the first one.
THE BONUS FEATURES
There isn’t a ton of extras, but there’s a decent “making of” featurette and more than 10 minutes of deleted scenes, most of which are various imaginings of the battle between Wyldstyle and General Mayhem told in storyboard form. A holiday short is cute, and kids might enjoy the karaoke style version of “Super Cool.”
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is another fun movie that you can enjoy with your kids. If you liked previous LEGO films, it’s a safe bet you’ll like this as well.