Time to grow up from everything being awesome.
Synopsis: The battle to defeat the invaders and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a galaxy filled with fantastic planets, strange characters and catchy new songs. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are. (Warner Bros.)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett
Writers: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Director: Mike Mitchell
Rating: G (Canada)/PG (United States)
Running Time: 106mins
The original Lego Movie was definitely a surprise upon its original release back in 2014, becoming one of the greatest animated films of this last decade (and one of my all-time favorite films) and being snubbed of a Best Animated Feature Film Oscar (never forget). Suffice it to say that this sequel had a tough act to follow. While this film isn’t quite the surprise the original was, it still manages to be awesome in its own way by expanding its animated Lego world with new characters and environments to explore and also the live-action family story at its center. There is definitely a lot more going on this time around but just the first film, it still has plenty to offer to both younger and older viewers.
In the original, the Lego world within it came from the imagination of a young boy named Finn (Jadon Sand) trying to cope with his relationship with his father (Will Ferrell). The second film dealt with the relationship between a now older Finn and his younger sister Bianca (Brooklynn Prince). The way this relationship would manifest within the Lego world was interesting as it and the story itself would be affected by each perspective. Over the course of the film, the story in the Lego world would almost echo the events in the human world. Though the inclusion of the human world served as a twist in the first film, the second film would spend more time there while using it to tell both stories in inventive ways.
This film arguably had a lot to balance, story-wise, when compared to the first film. Perhaps not all of its messaging isn’t nearly as impactful as a result but despite that, the story still manages to do so in a satisfying way. The focus here was all about growing up and being more accepting of others. In the Lego world, times have changed for Emmet (Pratt), Lucy (Banks), Batman (Arnett), and the rest of the gang as everything was not nearly as awesome as it used to be. However as the times changed, Emmet and his upbeat naive self stayed the same. Unlike then, this would stand out a lot more. He was stuck in the past as he couldn’t get past they way things were, holding on hope that the world would one day return to the way it was. In order to survive, he would have to change but that would prove to be easier said than done for him though he may not be the only one.
Emmet would immediately be tested when he Lucy, Batman, and his other friends were greeted by visitors from outer space, resulting in his friends getting kidnapped and taken to a far solar system. Now it was up to Emmet to save them and prove everyone wrong. Each subplot was compelling to watch with the most entertaining part seeing the polar opposites of Emmet and Lucy react to their individual circumstances in often hilarious ways. What the series has been known for is its meta humor and this film was no different thanks to another sharp script. Being a kids film at the end of the day, most of the humor is kid friendly but it also leaves enough references to keep all viewers entertained.
The animation here was still awesome this time around, featuring full of color and detail in bringing its many characters and environments to life and there was much more of everything here than the original. The characters were more dynamic as well with more of their abilities coming to life. The voice acting was also still awesome this time around. There are so many voices here that there are too many to name but the main three voice actors, Pratt, Banks, and Arnett, were all in top form with Pratt voicing an additional character named Rex Dangervest. Finally, the original film put “Everything Is Awesome” in your head and this film was no different. Listen at your own risk.
Overall, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part had a tough act to follow but it manages to be just as awesome as the original despite not being as big of a surprise. The animation and voice acting was still at the top of their game as it expanded on both the Lego world and the live-action worlds, utilizing both in inventive ways. The subject matter may be a little heavier this time and it may not be as impactful but it manages to balance everything with plenty of heart and reference-filled meta humor thanks to another sharp script. A delight for kids and adults. Everything may be different but it is still awesome.
*The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part opens in theatres on February 8th*