Film Review: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Lego Movie 2: The Second Part picks up right where the previous film left off, full of laughs, songs, brooding and a message that should get stuck inside your head.

The Lego Movie caught everyone by surprise, why do we ever doubt Lord and Miller? (side eyes Lucasfilm [still liked Solo]), when it came out, but expectations were high going in to The Second Part. I was not disappointed. In fact, I like this one even more.

We follow the same cast of characters this time out, with everyone but Emmett being kidnapped by a possibly evil Queen and her henchwoman Sweet Mayhem, while he is left to save them with the help of his “Vest Friend!” Rex. Things might not be what they seem, though, as the Queen’s kingdom is pretty great and Wyldstyle can’t find that smoking gun.

On top of all of this, the message of the film excels beyond the original’s call for flexibility and creativity and instead focuses on toxic masculinity and empathy. This movie could literally save generations of children. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, be a bro-y, serious, broody grownup, you can be yourself and be kind and caring like you were as a kid, and The Second Part doesn’t want you to forget that. On the female side of things, Wyldstyle maybe has the wrong idea of what a grown-up man looks like and takes for granted the positivity that she already has in Emmett. It’s all great and is laid into the film wonderfully. There is also a brother/sister/sibling angle laid into the live action portion of the film, which feels appropriate and hits home on how we come to these conclusions in society based on how we treat one another as children.

Mike Mitchell guides Lord and Miller’s script with gusto, skewering every dark and gritty version of child’s property ever released. The film doesn’t feel like it misses anything with Lord and Miller only writing, and the inventiveness of the animation feels in line with the original while also really standing out and impressing in a couple key sequences.

The Second Part looks just as fantastic as the original, with that stop motion feel fluidly brought to life as insane creations are thrown together on screen. Queen Whatevra’s sequences are especially wonderful to watch, as she is constantly shifting and enveloping the environment around her. There are also more songs, and they are all great, and don’t leave the theater till the credits’ first song is done (then maybe run if you don’t want Catchy Song stuck in your head all the way home.)

The cast continues to be great, as Chris Pratt gets double duty as Emmett and Rex, the later of whom he plays with his best bad Kurt Russell impersonation. Elizabeth Banks is great again as Wyldstyle, keeping her complex, yet cool, while the rest of the ensemble that is carried over is perfectly utilized in the exact precise quantities. Tiffany Haddish also shines as the Queen and does a great job of singing a few big numbers along the way.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a sequel that can stand along its previous entry, possibly even surpassing it. If the first one was your cup of tea, dive right back in, and please take children to see this, they need to be reminded that being dark and broody isn’t the only path to adulthood.

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