The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a lukewarm disappoint, failing to capture that same creative magic as the original film. This time around, the jokes aren't funny, the story is convoluted and everything is definitely not awesome.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is reassurance that the LEGO Movie fad has definitely overstayed its welcome. The LEGO Movie was a creative spark to the animation genre, providing a creative storytelling method that was full of energy and excitement. The LEGO Batman Movie proved that you could do it again. Sadly, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a dud (which is what I also heard of The LEGO Ninjago Movie, but I haven’t seen it just yet), flatlining where the original film soared. This time around, the universal message feels watered down and slapped on, while the jokes feel forced and tired.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part takes place five years after the events of the first film, which involved President Business (Will Ferrell) trying to destroy the world, while Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and friends helped save it.
The LEGO Movie was directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller taking yet another popular property and turning it into something fun and approachable for all ages. They did this before with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and have continued doing so (see 21/22 Jump Street and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).
Unfortunately, they’ve stepped down as directors for The LEGO Movie 2, passing on those duties to Mike Mitchell, but still sticking with the story/writing credits.
My initial frustration with the film comes from Mitchell’s directing style not being able to keep up with the rapid-pace firing of jokes and insanity that are now trademarks of Lord/Miller. But the more the film moves forward, the more the jokes stop saying something clever and instead try roping in as many random references as possible.
Sure, some of the references are hilarious and truly funny, but a bulk of them feel forced and pointless when comparing them to the overall purpose of the story.
If The LEGO Movie was about the evils of capitalism, then The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is about what happens once you overthrow capitalism? It doesn’t make much sense as the world is now closer to Mad Mad: Fury Road than it is anything relating to our modern society. One could argue that it’s about the power of socialism, but I’m just going to stick with its core themes of working together and rebuilding, despite the whole subplot surrounding Emmet learning not to trust his friends and to be “more mature” by making hard decisions that he absolutely doesn’t agree with.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a wildly confusing film, both tonally and creatively. Is it a smart movie that can both cater to the kiddos and tell a meaningful message to adults? Kind of, I guess. But for every wisecrack joke or random reference, there’s an equally silly and stupid plot point or musical number that stalls the film’s good graces.
I absolutely adored The LEGO Movie and wanted nothing more then to praise its sequel and continue the “Everything is Awesome” movement, but so much of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part feels like a tired attempt at replicating the first film’s magic, only this time the same directors didn’t even want to bother.
The script is convoluted, yet hollow, while the animation fails to make up for the lacking story. Heck, the assembled cast this time around even feels less engaged with the material. The best part of the entire film is Jason Momoa‘s Aquaman cameo that I’m sure came from clips cut out from the actual Aquaman movie trailer.
Everything is definitely not awesome in this pushy sequel that fails on all levels of telling a coherent and worthwhile continuation of a near-perfect film.