Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett
Director: Mike Mitchell
Running Time: 106 mins
The Lego Movie 2 is an American film and the sequel to The Lego Movie. Five years after the terrifying events of Taco Tuesday, Emmett, Wyldstyle and their friends find themselves fighting to save the universe from armageddon as they come under attack from Duplo invaders from outer space.
The Lego Movie was a masterpiece, and that’s not something that I say lightly. A vibrant, exciting and beautiful film, it had stunning depth and intelligence, all the while featuring a unique and refreshing brand of self-referential humour that has since proved hugely influential in blockbuster cinema over the last few years, with the advent of the likes of Deadpool, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and many more.
As a result, it’s fair to say that my expectations for The Lego Movie 2 were very, very high. Fortunately, I’m delighted to report that the sequel is almost just as awesome as the first film, and while it doesn’t quite have that mind-blowing and groundbreaking nature that the original is so noted for, it’s a hugely funny watch that features yet more gorgeous animation and brilliantly clever writing, all of which left me with an enormous smile on my face from beginning to end.
When it comes to sequels, it’s always hard to strike a balance between replicating everything that was great about the first film, while telling a new and exciting story, but it’s a balance that The Lego Movie 2 gets pretty much spot-on.
Although its opening act is a little overly similar to the first film, the movie soon breaks out into a thrillingly entertaining adventure that’s just as enjoyable as it is surprisingly smart and deep, once again thinking outside the box as it relates the Lego world to the real world.
In that, while I had an absolute blast with Emmett and the crew’s adventure through the stars, the most fun and satisfying thing about The Lego Movie 2 is relating everything that happens on screen with the real world, as the film cleverly uses the concept of dimensions in its brilliantly self-referential manner, as such allowing you to draw on your own experiences of playing with Lego, and how that’s emulated in the story here.
It’s something that was absolutely mind-blowing to see in the final act of the first film, but the sequel takes a bolder and more direct approach to the blurry line between the real and Lego worlds. However, while it may occasionally seem a little on-the-nose, it’s a unique and bold story that creates great depth in the film’s main adventure, all the while drawing you in with a thoroughly relatable account of a world of imagination.
As a bog-standard adventure, there are a lot of elements that are highly reminiscent of the events of the first film, and while the sequel occasionally struggles to bring about real character depth and intrigue as the first managed, there are still a lot of surprises in store with this film, thanks mostly to a unique and intelligent screenplay structure that brings a lot more gravitas and intrigue to the story than you may think at first glance.
And anyway, for all the intelligence and uniqueness of this film, the most important thing about The Lego Movie 2 is that it’s absolutely hilarious from beginning to end. Once again using that ingenious brand of self-referential humour to poke fun at everything in pop culture to the moon and back, the film is filled to the brim with bright, clever and silly jokes, and I found myself laughing and chuckling on a consistent basis right the way through, with a good few big laughs here and there too.
The sequel may not quite have the insanely frantic energy of the first film, something that left me effectively wetting myself with laughter last time round, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a vibrant and energetic adventure movie, and it’s that brilliantly entertaining humour that proves the icing on the cake to a truly wonderful and once again intelligent film.
Finally, on the flipside, if there is one area where The Lego Movie 2 stumbles, it’s the music. Everything Is Awesome was a hit in the first film, but it was used more as an in-joke throughout the movie than being a simple, Disney-esque song. The sequel, however, has four or five musical numbers, and while a couple are fun and catchy, there are two that are just awful, proving a boring stumbling block in a film that’s otherwise full of energy.
So, if there is to be a third film in a few years (which I hope there is), I’d expect to see a backtracking on turning The Lego Movie into a more generic animated musical, because it’s by far this film’s most awkward and dull element, and a little out of tune with the often rebellious character of this series.
Overall, though, I had an absolute blast with The Lego Movie 2. With a lot to live up to following the groundbreaking nature of the original, it’s a really entertaining sequel that combines yet more beautiful and vibrant animation with rapid-fire, funny and as-ever intelligent humour, all the while impressing with yet another bold and clever story that hits pretty much every beat right throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.3.