The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part stands brick to brick with the original that started it all.
In 2014 The Lego Movie impressed me to a degree I didn’t think would be possible. It looked like it would be a fun kids movie, but I didn’t expect depth and boy did it contain that and then some. The movie also struck a chord for the pop culture guy that I am, throwing in great jabs and jokes and the various properties that WB was able to get their hands on. It was that ending that really hit me though, that father son relationship and everything that came with that.
Now going into this The Second Part, I don’t know why but I was just getting the impression that this sequel would not be able to capture that same magic. The trailers just weren’t selling me, and the infusion of a different perspective of creations just wasn’t gelling with me. Well Phil Lord and Christopher Miller just continue to prove that these guys just get telling entertaining stories with a little more spice. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but The Lego Movie 2 is just as great of a movie as the first and contains a few messages that actually challenged my feelings going into the movie.
The general premise of this sequel is the direct effect from what ended in the last movie. In the end of the original, Finn the young son of Will Ferrell, was given permission to finally play in the crazy Lego city that Ferrell’s character built. This came with one condition, that his younger sister would be given the same access to this Lego wonder world. For anyone who has had a younger sibling you can imagine how this played out. The story shoots forward five years and with it this plot deals not just with the divide between siblings, but that of one who is still a child and another who is starting to lose some their innocence.
Where the first movie kept the interjection of real life for the end of the film, this one gives more flashes of the real world throughout, which at first, I wasn’t sure about but the more the runtime went along I got why this made sense on several levels. By the end of the story once again, the Lego Movie team hit with a lesson that is universal for not just kids but for everyone else too. I’d love to dive more into that bit of things, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Stepping away from the plot, there is a lot more we can discuss, starting with the animation. I forgot how much I enjoyed the animation employed in the Lego Movie, and it was a delight to come back to it. Throughout the film there are also some hilarious transitions between scenes that I loved. Some of the action sound effects also just brought me back to my childhood when having the same type of imaginary adventures like these kids do in the movie. This film also interjects more musical numbers, which always gives me pause, but they all worked in adding some fun elements to the experience. They also squeezed in some great lyrical gags that I appreciated immensely.
If there is one thing that this movie shortchanges is a good chunk of the supporting cast from the first film is sidelined, relegated to handful of lines each. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I had to wonder what other interesting scenes these other unique characters could have gotten themselves. In this film Chris Pratt even ends up playing two characters and the story beats that follow from this are great. This second character’s big gag is he is an amalgamation of most of his big movie roles, and they really lean into to great effect.
Humor wise, this sequel nails down the same balance as the original. It works much better than the two Lego spin-offs did where I felt they just didn’t have that Lord and Miller attentiveness to more than the child denominator.
As with any sequel the question will come, is this better than the first? Well I would make the argument that it will all depend on which message will stick with you more. In terms of quality and fun, the sequel delivers everything you’d expect and gives you something to think about and feel by the end. If that isn’t the recipe to a great movie I’m not sure what is.