Friday, February 8

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Dir: Mike Mitchell

Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, and Maya Rudolph

Everything is NOT awesome with the happy residents of Bricksburg, especially the happy-go-lucky master builder Emmett who saved the toy-inspired universe in the standout hit from 2014. The masterminds, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, behind the origin story for these toys-turned-movie characters return to write the script but new director Mike Mitchell takes over directing duties. This doesn’t matter too much because the formula hasn’t changed between the different Lego franchises. 

Emmett (Chris Pratt) saved the city of Bricksburg from President Business and just before they could celebrate their victory, a cutesy alien Lego society descended from the sky and turned the bright shining world into a dystopian, Mad Max-esque wasteland. The aliens destroy everything that has and will be made, leaving the citizens of Bricksburg to live in fear of building anything new or shiny. Things get worse when all the great warriors and leaders are kidnapped; Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), Benny (Charlie Day), Unikitty (Alison Brie), and Metalbeard (Nick Offerman) are all captured leaving Emmett to venture into the unknown after them.

Much of the appeal and charm for these Lego films has come from the use of humor and the inclusion of pop culture referencing throughout nearly every frame of the film. Where else are going to find “Jurassic Park” velociraptors, every member of the Justice League from DC Comics, and John McClane from “Die Hard” in the same movie, sometimes at the same time? The fact that these sometimes subtle, mostly blatant nods to pop culture come off so delightfully is quite impressive. 

Helping make these interesting crossovers come to life are the exceptional voice actors. Firstly, Will Arnett’s low baritone Batman steals the show, it’s easy to see why this character received a spinoff feature. Tiffany Haddish plays the morphing evil alien queen wreaking havoc on the Lego universe. Ms. Haddish has such a unique cadence and rhythm in her dialog, it’s easy to laugh and smile even when a joke isn’t  being pushed into the narrative. Unfortunately, the two leads, Emmett and Lucy, have a narrative that is stifled by poor character development and a strange over saturation of Chris Pratt’s vocal work. The second act of the film is consumed by Emmett and Rex Dangervest, a new character who embraces the solitude life of a hero on a spaceship run by dinosaurs. These two characters are voiced by Mr. Pratt but the storyline for why they  come together brings the pacing of the film to a halt in an effort to add some kind of mystery that is building towards the inevitable ending, which surprisingly accomplishes enough with the other characters throughout to remain a kindhearted message. 

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” isn’t as awesome as the first installment, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not good. Underneath the story of an alien invasion, forced wedding nuptials, and catchy songs that ruin your mind, there is a story about brothers and sisters, being kind to one another, and accepting childhood for as long as possible. It’s a sweet sentiment when the film transitions into the “real” world and not the Lego world. So, while everything may NOT be awesome, this film still has all the workings of a good family film worth the trip to the movies.

Monte’s Rating

3.50 out of 5.00

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