MOVIE REVIEW by Lucas Allen: ‘The LEGO Movie 2’ a funny disappointment

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
(Warner Bros. Pictures/Warner Animation Group/LEGO)

By Lucas Allen

More than a feature length commercial for those tiny LEGO toys, 2014’s “The LEGO Movie” was a celebration of world-building nostalgia and clever comedy that all ages could admire.
Five years and two spin-offs later, we finally have the sequel we’ve been waiting for, with original film’s directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on writing duties and “Trolls” and “Shrek Forever After” director Mike Mitchell taking over the action.

But is “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” worth the entire five-year wait?
The sequel begins where the first film ended, when Bricksburg is invaded by cute Dunlop bricks because The Man Upstairs (Will Ferrell) allowed his son (Jadon Sand) to play with the LEGO sets with his little sister (Brooklynn Prince). Five years later, with the city as Apocalypseburg, the denizens are reduced to Mad Max-style warriors struggling to survive.
However, Emmitt (Chris Pratt) remains his cheerful self while his girlfriend Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) becomes much more brooding, like her ex Batman (Will Arnett). Then Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) kidnaps Lucy, Batman, MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) and Benny (Charlie Day), and takes them to another planet ruled by Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish).
Emmitt then has to prove himself again by turning his house into a spaceship so he can try to follow his friends to the other side. When he almost gets demolished by an asteroid, he’s saved by the mysterious Rex Dangervest (also Pratt) and his team of velociraptors. Rex then teaches him how to be cooler and more grown-up if Emmitt has to survive the Sister-Verse and save his friends. But time is running out when Wa-Nabi plots to unleash the “Amommypocalypse” upon the LEGO universe.
The first film brought smart and clever ideas to the table, while adding a good lesson for the kids about the power of creativity. Lord/Miller seems to be trying to further their ideas for the sequel, but those ideas ended up lost in the heavy colorful action and manufactured pop songs. They most likely decided to make it a full blown musical to add to the original’s Oscar-nominated success “Everything is Awesome.”
While some of the new songs are pretty catchy, none of them are as memorable, including the main one “Catchy Song,” which won’t stay in your head for too long.
There are plenty of funny moments and another life lesson to be learned, but nothing changes the fact that it’s the first film all over again. If you’ve seen that enough times, you get the sense of déjà vu as the sequel goes through the similar point A to point B scenario. Maybe if they’d stuck with the first 15 minutes and then had done a 180-degree turn into something completely different, this would’ve been a worthwhile follow-up. Instead, it’s a loud and insane story with many references to other movies that’ll make you rather watch them instead.
If you’re going into this movie just for the voice cast, then this movie delivers some funny and over-the-top performances and surprise cameos. Pratt not only wonderfully reprises his lovable Emmett role, but also has a lot of fun spoofing his characters from Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World for his Rex character. We get to learn more about Lucy’s true background and Banks is once again fantastic as the fan-favorite heroine. Arnett is also back in full Dark Knight mode that never fails to be entertaining, while his scenes with Haddish actually brings some good heart as well as the laughs.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” will likely be enjoyed by the 15 and under crowd, but older viewers will be left frustrated by the end result. It’s pretty funny, but ultimately a disappointing sequel that could never recapture that lightning in a bottle of five years ago. This will cast some doubt among audiences about future LEGO movies like a “LEGO Marvel vs. DC” or “LEGO Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings.”

THE MOVIE’S RATING: PG (for some rude humor)
THE CRITIC’S RATING: 2.5 Stars (Out of Four)