Fresh from his successes with ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Phil Lord is back with buddy Christopher Miller writing and producing the sequel to their smash hit animation ‘The LEGO Movie’. This sequel comes after a couple of spin-offs for the series so actually serves as the fourth installment in the franchise and arrives almost five years after the original film. With this in mind would everything still be awesome?
‘The LEGO Movie 2’ picks up immediately where the original film left off with Bricksburg now under threat from the Duplo invaders. It’s up to Emmet (Chris Pratt) to rescue his friends from the Systar System after another mysterious invader captures them and with further danger looming in the shape of “Ar-mom-ageddon” things aren’t looking good. A lot of the narrative is quite clever, serving as a playful metaphor for Finn and his sister Bianca’s creative building with their LEGO bricks. However, it’s far too drawn out and convoluted for its own good. The film does poke fun at itself for this, commenting on the convoluted nature of its story but there’s just too much going on and it takes too long to become clear for this self-aware comedy to fully work.
However, the film is by no means devoid of comedy altogether. Quite the contrary actually as it uses pop culture gags and other more original humour to deliver the comedy audiences will expect from a film in this series. The numerous musical numbers are helpful in achieving this humour, even if none of them quite out do the relentlessly catchy ‘Everything Is Awesome’ from the first film. As well as this the comedy feels up to date and in touch with its target audience being aware of the developments in pop culture during the space between the original film and this sequel. The cast and collection of characters are just as fun as the first film with all our favourites returning and some great new additions as well as some excellent cameos. The animation is similarly as impressive as its predecessor too, meaning that watching a feature film entirely made out of LEGO is no issue at all, an aspect which should not be overlooked!
As before it’s Will Arnett’s Batman who proves most memorable but he’s got competition from the new guy, Rex Dangervest who’s a fun combination of all Pratt’s blockbuster movie characters and comes with his own possy of LEGO raptors. Despite these new additions and fan favourites, the overall gimmick starts to wear a little thin. With its over-complicated and over-long narrative the concept feels like a bit of a stretch. However, Lord and Miller’s writing still has its moments of brilliance shown in countless moments throughout meaning that ‘The LEGO Movie 2’ is still good fun to play with but not built on quite as strong foundations as the original.
Written by Hamish Calvert
Rating – 7/10
Question: What is your favourite LEGO movie?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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Thanks to Movie House Cinemas for screening access