The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part Review – Brickaholics Anonymous

Pros

  • It’s appealing to both kids and adults.
  • Being made of LEGO, the film is imaginative and vibrantly animated.
  • Queen Whatevra Wa-nabi is a fun new character.

Cons

  • There are slightly confusing twists for younger kids.
  • The humor, while funny, is not as fresh or snappy as it could be.
  • It lacks the emotional punch of the first two LEGO films.

Welcome to a world where everything isn’t awesome.

Following the LEGO Duplo Invasion (as shown at the end of the first LEGO film), the world has been plunged into disaster. Constant raids by Duplo monsters mean everything looks like Mad Max: Fury Road – and that nothing is awesome. It also means that joyful, seemingly oblivious hero Emmet (Chris Pratt) is at odds with a battle-hardened Lucy/Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). When an alien commander visits the apocalyptic wasteland in search of a fierce warrior, it’s up to Emmet to rescue them from the glittery Systar System – and to find himself among the stars.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part floundered on its opening weekend, making roughly 35 million on an almost 100 million dollar budget. The previous film, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, was a spinoff that also struggled in the box office, although that film also fared poorly with critics and fans. This film has been far better received. Seeing these numbers is like watching a murder mystery, where only one thing is for certain: this doesn’t bode well for the franchise.

I’m left wondering who in their right mind wouldn’t want to see such a fun little film. Its creativity and writing are to be lauded, not ignored. It’s got a type of humor for everyone. There’s slapstick, references, sight gags, witty dialogue, and Bat-puns. It introduces great new characters too, including one I wasn’t expecting to stand out.

Queen Whatevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) is a shapeshifting pile of plastic, a blob made of LEGO bricks and sassy style. Her sporadic shapeshifting, attitude, and musical numbers make her a standout. That’s even among a cast full of kooky characters like MetalBeard (Nick Offerman), Benny the Spaceman (Charlie Day) and Unikitty (Alison Brie). She’s an inventive character that must have taken a lifetime to animate. One second she’s a horse, and the next she’s a dinosaur. She’s basically what LEGO sets should be.

In fact, this movie gets what a film made from LEGO should be – imaginative. Most objects are made of LEGO bricks, but they have scratches and marks as they would in real life. The vehicles, characters, creatures, and worlds are so creative, and surprisingly, many of them are LEGO sets you can buy on the shelf.

It didn’t take long for me to get used to the singing parts. After all, the original LEGO Movie had ‘Everything is Awesome’, sung numerous times by members of the cast; though that fit perfectly because it was meant to indoctrinate naïve minifigures like Emmet. Now we have songs like “The Catchy Song” and “Gotham City Guys” (sung in tandem with Batman, who is voiced by Will Arnett), which are real earworms. Don’t expect Disney-level numbers, but still, they’re going to get stuck inside your head.

There are a few snags. Some of the character’s motivations are intentionally unclear, but that might be a little confusing to younger kids. If I were a five year-old boy or girl who loved LEGO, I’d be a little confused by some of the plot twists. At the same time, it’s hard to call it a flaw if it’s intentional, and there’s also a lot of eye candy and action to make up for it.

The worst offender is the film’s humor still falls short of the first LEGO Movie, as well as The LEGO Batman Movie. The jokes are there, but many lack the fresh new spark and snappy zest. My favorite gag (as seen in the trailer, so no spoilers) is where Emmet smudges the tough-guy stubble dots he’s drawn on his face. The numerous references to other films, characters and franchises are nice to have, but nothing beats the smart humor of these films.

Even if the humor is paces behind The LEGO Movie, it’s still miles ahead of many modern Disney films, and just as charming. It does lack the emotional punch of something like Big Hero 6, or a Disney-Pixar film like Coco. The first LEGO Movie was thoughtful and fun, while this film leans almost entirely towards towards the latter.

Brickaholics will gobble this up, thinking it’s the best thing since the invention of the minifigure. Objectively, it’s a flawed yet fun children’s film that also appeals to adults. The lack of financial returns does not speak to the quality of the film. It’s an enjoyable sequel that deserves a lot more attention.

-Sean Daniel   sendtopervin@gmail.com

2019-02-15T09:13:53-06:00