The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Review
All hail the triumphant return of the unlikeliest film franchise in the age when even dramas are getting sequels. The Lego Movie back in 2014 was a massive success in supplying a non-stop stream of one-liners and visual gags and songs and a ton of heart, so much so that Warner Bros. gave an action-comedy animated film about walking-talking bricks of toys 2 spin-off films. The Lego Batman Movie was an inferior but still great side-act film whereas I never really watched The Lego Ninjago Movie because I really didn't care to, but none had the ability to completely blindside you the way The Lego Movie did.
5 years later, it's sequel brings back the original gang and it's evidently for the better. Emmit, Wyldstyle and friends bring back that endearing back-and-forth relationship that feels like just the right amount of familiar comfort and instantly takes you back to the first film (we quite literally start off right where the first film ended).
While Phil Lord and Christopher Miller do not return for directing duties, they do still serve as the writers of this film and they bring back the first film's frenetic energy, with a joke and sub-joke in every line and the humor still extremely self-referential and parodying, including smash-cut visual gags and violent sound effects made orally by characters. It's just as relentless, if a few degrees less fresh, and it once again aims to tell a bigger story than just animated characters spouting funny stuff.
Incoming director Mike Mitchell is dutiful in taking over the duties, recognizing Lord and Miller as the true creative geniuses behind these 2 films and going along with their written material as it was intended to be. The downside is that serviceability kicks in a bit at times and the film does drop every now and then without Lord and Miller's whacky buoyancy in the directors' seats to give some of the lesser material an extra push.
All the returning characters get their moments to shine. Chris Pratt voices two characters this time and he's in full flow throughout, bringing new dimensions to an old part and giving it further depth. Elizabeth Banks is once again fun and Will Arnett keeps the constant wisecracks going, as always. New cast member Tiffany Haddish fits right in with her outlandishness and everyone else fulfills their responsibilities, unwaveringly delivering throwaway lines and sound effects that are at the very least amusing every time they're called upon.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part delivers everything you'd expect from the sequel of the already classic original, including meta humor (including its meta title), tons of film references (2001, Wizard of Oz and Mad Max: Fury Road just to name a few), spirited voice acting, parody songs, a heartfelt message about the pains of growing up and a kick-ass end credits song. It might not the same work of brilliance as the first film but it does prove the Lego franchise still has a few films left to go before audience fatigue.
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