The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Posted: February 16, 2019 in Film reviews
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Directed by Mike Mitchell. Starring Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett and Tiffany Haddish.

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After the events of the first film, Finn has won the right to play with his dad’s Lego, but the caveat is that his younger sister Bianca has to as well.

Inside the Lego universe the city of Bricksburg is attacked by giant Duplo invaders. As the years pass these attacks continue, to the point where Bricksburg becomes post-apocalyptic wasteland named Apocalypseburg, and all things cute and colourful are frowned upon lest they draw down the invaders. The only one who hasn’t changed is Emmet (Pratt) who retains his upbeat, everything is awesome attitude, much to the despair of his friend Lucy (Banks). When he builds a cute dream house out in the desert Lucy fears this will attract another attack. Emmet is worried about a dream he’s had about an apocalyptic event named “Our-Mom-Ageddon”.

When a Duplo attack, led by General Sweet Mayhem (Brooklyn 99’s Stephanie Beatriz) rains destruction on Apocalypseburg, Lucy blames Emmet. Mayhem kidnaps Lucy, along with Batman (Arnett) and others to take back to the Systar System where a marriage is planned.

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Emmet tries to rally support but no one will help him, so he heads for the Systar System alone. He doesn’t get very far before encountering difficulties, but is saved by rugged action hero Rex Dangervest (also Pratt) who offers to help, and encourages Emmet to become less of a doormat.

Meanwhile in the Systar System a portentous marriage edges ever closer, as does the threat of Our-Mom-Ageddon. Can Emmet and Lucy save the day, or is it time to put aside childish things?

 

The original Lego movie was a surprise hit, so surprising that I have to admit that I didn’t see it at the cinema. With a wry script, great animation and a decent cast it rose above it’s lame toy tie in potential to becomes a hugely enjoyable film. Since then we’re had the excellent Lego Batman film and the Lego Ninjago Movie, so the first thing to say is that obviously the surprise element of the first film’s assuredly gone this time, so it’s to its credit that the film is still as enjoyable and funny as it is, a sequel that’s overall as good as the first film, albeit one that’s not as good in some areas but better in others. So the plot is a trifle more contrived and convoluted, but on the upside the slightly mawkish ‘real world’ element of the first film is softened somewhat, mostly down to a great cameo appearance.

Setting aside the animation and the voice cast, the true architects, master builders if you will, of this film are writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and I can’t help but wonder what their Solo would have looked like. The film’s is chock full of wit and great dialogue, and manages to impart a good message about tolerance for others’ ideas without tripping into clunky, He-Man style moralising.

Untitled1Pratt is good in a duel role, Banks is excellent and Haddish is wonderfully sinister Watevra Wa-Nabi, shape shifting alien queen. Yet again it’s Arnett who threatens to steal the show as Batman though.

The visuals are amazing, although as with the other Lego films, sometimes there’s so much going on that it can get a touch overawing and cluttered, as with the other Lego movies, it’s a film that will benefit from multiple viewings because there’ll be loads of visual jokes you miss the first time around; in particular I loved Rex Dangervest’s raptor buddies (complete with amusing subtitles.)

Visually overpowering at times, and the shift when you have to reappraise everything you’ve seen so far doesn’t quite hang together well enough, but this is a film with its heart in the right place, it looks gorgeous and oozes wit. Throw in a voice cast at the top of their game and everything is still awesome because this is a film that fits together as well as Lego bricks.  I don’t really see where they can take this with a third entry however.

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