The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Review

Little sisters, eh.

One day you’re pretending to be a Tom Jones singing human sized cat just to put a smile on their face, the next they’re pouring their heart out to some shrink about how their older brothers never let them join in with their games when they were growing up.

Just me?

Well, for all those younger siblings with entirely made up maladies out there, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have made a film just for you; The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

We start right where the first lego film ended; Emmet has just saved ‘Bricksburg’, won over the girl of his dreams and made everything, well, awesome again.

But at that moment, a hostile yet primitive alien life form more commonly known as duplo swoops down and attacks.

Fast forward five years and Emmet’s world has become a lego shaped Mad Max type nightmare under his duplo overlords.

For everyone else, this would be a problem – not Emmet though, whose positive can-do attitude is not so easily defeated.

As long as he has his girl Lucy, everything’s still awesome.

So when Lucy, Batman, uni-kitty, that bearded pirate chap and the spaceship guy get kidnapped and whisked away to another galaxy by the queen of the duplos, Emmet finally has to admit defeat. 

Everything isn’t awesome. 

Our claw-handed hero has only one option – to launch a suicidal mission to rescue his friends from the ‘sista’ system.

The Lego Movie was one of the surprise hits of 2014, following in the footsteps of animated trailblazers like Toy Story.

Lord and Miller took this to the next level, creating a hilarious film for adults out of some child friendly toys and ticking off just about every demographic needed to create a box office success. 

Since then, they’ve also made The Lego Batman Movie – easily the best Bruce Wayne shaped film this decade – and Lord was also behind the ground-breaking Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse.

So The Lego Movie 2 was always going to have a tough task following these films, but lord and Miller have made just about as good a sequel as they could have. 

The in-jokes keep coming thick and fast, the celeb cameos are even more meta – Die Hard’s Bruce Willis says hello a couple of times – and the storyline evolves in a logical way; we move on from father son relationships to sibling rivalry. 

Unfortunately, the originality of The Lego Movie is nigh on impossible to match – the previously unexpected introduction of famous names and faces in supporting roles is now predictable. 

The animation is even more seamless here, but nothing looks as good as the ocean scene from the original lego movie. 

Most disappointingly, a lot of the big laughs seem to have been lifted pretty directly from other films – one fight scene is ripped straight out of Team America: World Police, while the ‘big eyes’ trick from innocent looking duplo stars is clearly taken from Shrek’s Puss in boots.

The real problem might just be that the characters of Emmet and co just can’t compete with taking on more familiar comic book characters like Batman and Spider-man, who have a much richer history to reference and riff on.

Not that this will matter for the people who The Lego Movie 2 is really meant for – namely, all those younger siblings out there who still haven’t let go of their imagined childhood slights.

Jonathan Campbell

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February 2019
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