REVIEW OF THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

Synopsis and information obtained from ComingSoon.net
Edited by Christopher Edelen and Ariel Landrum

Grade: B-

LEGOs were a reliable toy that occupied much of our playtime as children. In 2014 these fun building blocks were brought to life for us on the silver screen with The LEGO Movie. That film ended with everything awesome in Bricksburg. Much as it happens in the real world, however, childhood playthings often fall by the wayside.

In The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, events in Bricksburg take an apocalyptic turn. Similarly to the heroes of Toy Story 3, the legos in this sequel face the predicament of their owners growing up and leaving them behind. The mother isn’t too keen on the bricks that constantly attack her feet, and tries to put them in storage for good, or as the residents of Bricksburg call it, “a’mom’ageddon.” The characters set out to prove how special they are to avoid being shelved and forgotten.

In keeping with the theme of the previous movie, LEGO 2 is jam-packed with pop culture references meant to keep everyone happy. Of course, I won’t spoil any of the surprises, but there is something for everyone that is sure to make them smile. The references helped this movie feel fresh and exciting.

All of the original lego movie gang return for this adventure in space, and the entire cast does an excellent job of giving their roles distinct personality. Chris Pratt reprises his perfectly average minifigure Emmet Brickowski, and Elizabeth Banks is back as the heroic “Wyldstyle” Lucy. Though, perhaps the most triumphant return comes with the hilarious dry comedy of a narcissistic Batman voiced by Will Arnett.

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Newly joining the cast are Tiffany Haddish as the devious Queen WatevraWa-nabi, and Stephanie Beatriz takes the reigns as General Mayhem. Pratt also voices a new character, Rex Dangervest.

The animation for LEGO 2 is stunning in its detail. Fingerprints and dust are visible on the bricks. The mix of the real world and the imaginative world of Bricksburg blend beautifully.  I saw it in Dolby Digital, and recommend the format if it is an option at your theater.

While great voice acting paired with amazing animation is usually a recipe for a great movie, this is not the case for LEGO 2. The film takes a darker path than the first, which may be the reason it can’t compare for entertainment value. There were a few funny lines, delivered mostly by Batman, but a good majority of the movie is an outright downer. The 90 minute run time felt like two hours because there were not as many jokes as in the previous movie.

Despite the more depressing tone, the family friendly LEGO 2 is still a really good movie and I enjoyed it. Just don’t walk in expecting the same type of fun that was in the first movie. The story is strong and will keep you intrigued as you focus on the fate of your favorite characters.

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DIRECTOR: Mike Mitchell
RATED: PG
SCREENWRITERS: Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Jared Stern, Michelle Morgan, Raphael Bob-Waksberg
STARRING: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Tiffany Haddish
GENRE: Comedy, Action, Animation, Adventure, Family

Synopsis:
A sequel to the original 3D computer animated film, which follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

Follow Billy M. on Twitter: @TheMovieGrader