It’s hard to not love The Lego Movie (2014), so with news of a sequel penned by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – but directed by Mike Mitchell – it was hard to not be excited. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) has some solid moments, but it is missing the spark that was so squarely at the center of the first film. Maybe it’s simply that the first one shocked so many with its humor and heart that this film just felt lesser by comparison. It could be that the lead character just isn’t compelling enough, or that my own level of cynicism couldn’t be swayed by the optimistic charm of him, as it was five years ago.
The Lego Movie 2 didn’t ‘wow’ me, but it was enjoyable overall
Five years have passed since the end of the first film, and Emmet (Chris Pratt) and Lucy “Wyldstyle” (Elizabeth Banks) find themselves in a world where not everything is awesome. Their post-apocalyptic landscape is constantly under attack by Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, and the citizens have all had to evolve. Things take a turn for the worse when a new ship arrives and General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) looks to take the five strongest warriors, which include Lucy, Batman (Will Arnett), Unikitty (Alison Brie), Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), and Benny (Charlie Day). Emmet sets off to rescue them, but he’s not sure if he has what it takes.
My favorite part, unsurprisingly, is Arnett’s Batman. Like the first movie, there are a few musical numbers in this film, and the best one features the Bat himself. Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) sings “Gotham City Guys” in one of the best sequences in the film. The song is hilarious, and the visuals during the scene are continually impressive. Queen Watevra is a new character that is visually fascinating, as she is constantly shifting shapes throughout the film. This scene, in particular, is a major moment for the plot and for Batman’s character, taking a new step in his personality’s evolution.
Like the first film, there are tons of cameos, both as Lego figures and the actors voicing them. The one that brought the biggest laugh from me was Bruce Willis voiced by…BRUCE WILLIS. He’s had a bad habit of phoning in his performances in recent films, but somehow, he gives one of his best performances in ages here. There are numerous little references in the short cameo he has – and I could not contain my laughter.
My biggest issue in this film is my lack of connection with Emmet. It’s not that I don’t like Emmet or the type of person he represents, but there is just not something clicking with him in this film, despite the fact that the film even manages to offer some very interesting commentary on the portrayal of masculinity in film through his character, as well as his counterpart, Rex Dangervest (who is also voiced by Pratt), and an amalgamation of his other film characters. It could be that General Mayhem basically points out that Wyldstyle should have been the hero in the first film, but is relegated to a sidekick role as Emmet gets to take all the credit for what she essentially does. However, this film puts her in the sidecar once again, focusing instead on Emmet’s quest and journey. Then again, it could just be that the reality the film offers just didn’t click with my own perspective of it, and that it left the movie feeling like a hollow shell compared to its predecessor.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part isn’t bad at all, but it just didn’t hit me like the first film. At the very least, I found the first film to be much funnier than this one, which was something I really enjoyed about it. There are some cool surprises, and the real world moments – which you’ll understand better if you’ve seen the first – are well acted, and feature some great talent. It’s definitely a film that you should check out if you liked the first, and maybe it’ll click more for you than it did me. The Lego Movie 2 earns a Decent Watch rating.