The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is about its characters struggling to live in a world that isn’t awesome. Unfortunately, this results in me struggling to live in a world where a LEGO Movie sequel is nowhere near as awesome as its predecessor, even if there is still some fun to be had.
Did you like the song Everything Is Awesome from the first LEGO Movie? I sure hope you did, because this movie features four musical numbers! On paper, these musical numbers are fun, but within the context of the movie it feels like one (or two) songs too many. This encapsulates the movie’s biggest problem: it’s so desperate to cater to its audience and give them more of what they love, yet it doesn’t realize that the reason we fell in love with the first movie was because of how fresh it felt. The same can be said of the movie’s self-referential humor or Easter Eggs, which are still funny, but not quite as laugh-out-loud funny or groundbreaking as they used to be (with the exception of a certain cameo that is A++.)
However, there is some new territory here, and it often shines. The new character Rex Dangervest makes for plenty of funny commentary on Chris Pratt’s career, and he even does a great job of letting Emmett develop as a character. Character development truly is one of the standouts, as the main protagonists’ journeys from the first movie are expanded upon and ultimately given more weight. The story also follows an Empire Strikes Back approach of splitting up its heroes, and while it ends up feeling a bit uneven, it really kicks into high gear during its third act. I also enjoyed how the story expands upon the live-action segments from the first movie, and though they’re less subtle than they once were, they deal with a different foray of playing with LEGOs that I found impactful. Unfortunately, these redeeming qualities can’t all quite culminate to combat the overwhelming sense of “been there, done that.”
Perhaps my adoration of the original LEGO Movie has caused me to hold this movie to an unfair standard. Regardless, I can’t quite overcome a feeling of disappointment about The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part; Everything Is Pretty Good just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
[Photo credit: Warner Brothers]