The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part has ditched its “Everything Is Awesome” mantra to reveal Bricksburg’s gritty, dystopian future following Will Ferrell’s decision at the end of the first movie to let his kids share in his hobby; but don’t worry, there’s still at least one solid musical number that’s sure to get stuck in your head.
The first movie was something I had never seen before, so it’s hard to compare this sequel to, well, its awesomeness. I think it’s safe to say they kept what worked and doubled down on the stuff you expected in such a way that managed to make the predictable still fulfilling. All in all, I really enjoyed the movie and left with a distinct desire to buy some Lego, which I suspect was the point all along.
As far as the movie goes, it was solid. These Lego movies are still new enough to seem fresh without appearing gimmicky. From a production point, I cannot begin to imagine the work that goes into building these “sets.” Masterbuilders or not, some serious time went into this. The script was also great, but the lion’s share of the writing credit needs to go to whoever came up with all the puns. The ones I want to share would constitute spoilers, so I’ll just say at one point there’s a “Stair Gate.” Seriously, who could come up with that? I’m laughing just typing it.
There were times when I was inexplicably bored, but I think the same could be said for the first movie. Wyldstyle’s brooding and Emmet’s optimistic outlook were five seconds from beating a dead horse, but the fact that they hammered those traits in did serve to make the resolution all the more satisfying. Without giving anything away, as with the first movie, the real payoff is in the glimpses of the family dynamic that’s driving the adventure experienced by the characters.
In full disclosure, I am a Lego fiend. My husband and I started buying Star Wars sets years ago as an activity we could do together on anniversaries and birthdays. Fast forward ten years or so and I’ve now found myself telling my realtor that I need a “Lego display space” in our next home. All that to say, I can’t help but love these movies. My husband is definitely the Will Ferrell type from the first movie (i.e. no creativity and everything gets properly displayed) but it turns out I’m the son from this movie (i.e. wants to play with it, but gets annoyed by mixing genres). In the end, as with the first movie, we are reminded that the joy of playing with these toys doesn’t come from following the instructions, but rather from spending time building something with people you love. The creators dial that feeling up during the end credits by sharing pictures of kids collaborating with their families on their own unique Lego masterbuilds, some of which I’m pretty sure I saw in the movie. At the end of the day, that’s the real message: Lego is fun as crap.
One more note about the end credits. If what I saw was actual Lego mechanics and not CGI, then wow—definitely stick around for at least the first part and watch. It was amazing!
Last, but not least, a word about the cast. We all knew that Will Arnett’s Batman always steals the show and that Elizabeth Banks’s Wyldstyle is everything we want in a superhero toy and that Chris Pratt can’t help but be endearing, but the star of this movie was Tiffany Haddish’s Queen Whatevra Wa’Nabi, complete with a musical number that was so fabulous it reminded me of Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Is she good? Is she bad? I’m not saying, but she’s definitely un-humdrum.