The Phoenix

Movie Review: ‘The Lego Movie 2’ is an enjoyable family film

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is the long anticipated follow up to the original 2014 film. The sequel picks up right after the events of the first. Emmet and our ragtag group of heroes, including Lucy, Batman, MetalBeard, Unikitty, and Benny just stopped Lord Business’  evil Taco Tuesday scheme. Like Emmet’s favorite song says, “everything is awesome”. That is until Brickburg is invaded by the seemingly evil Lego Duplo (It’s legos for really young kids essentially). Because Emmet is innocent and kindhearted almost to a fault, he offers the Duplo a giant lego heart. The leader Duplo comically devours Emmet’s peace offering and chaos ensues. Bricksburg is destroyed; every time our plastic heroes attempt to rebuild, the Duplo destroy. The world turns into a Mad Max-esque apocalyptic wasteland. Lucy and the others change with the times and become dark brooding warriors while Emmet stays the same and happily lives in the wasteland.

This sets up the main conflict in the film; Lucy is like Bob Dylan, telling Emmet the times are a-changin and that Emmet needs to grow up and change with them, but Emmet doesn’t want to become dark and cynical like everyone else. It tests Lucy and Emmet’s relationship and creates a really profound (but not preachy) message about cynicism and losing childlike innocence.

After Lucy and Emmet get into an argument, the Duplo attack again and this time they capture Lucy, Batman, and others and take them to the sis-tar system, ruled by a shape-shifting, song singing Queen called Waterva Wa’Nabi, voiced by the usually annoying but good here, Tiffany Haddish. 

Emmet sets off for the sis-tar system to save his friends when he runs into Rex Dangervest, a galaxy defending, raptor training archeologist. Chris Pratt voices both Emmet and Dangervest and he does a great job with both roles. Pratt channels Andy Dwyer for the lovable Emmet and channels a gruff persona for Dangervest, who is essentially an amalgamation of Pratt’s onscreen macho action heroes. Having Pratt voice two characters is a hilarious gag, but the decision also serves an important and unexpected narrative function. 

The rest of the cast is great alongside Pratt. Will Arnett is absolutely hilarious as Batman and Elizabeth Banks is great as Lucy. There are a bunch of other funny celebrity voice appearances like Nick Offerman as the robotic pirate MetalBeard, Charlie Day as a the spaceship obsessed spaceman Benny, and 21 Jump Street stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern respectively. Every voice actor delivers Lord and Miller’s perfectly written dialogue perfectly. 

Lord and Miller deserve as much praise as the voice actors. Their script is clever, witty, and has a lot of heart. There is a lot of variety in the humor; some of it feels geared only toward young children like the lego bricks that constantly vomit glitter and Batman flossing. However, there is a lot of humor that had me and many of the adults howling like a Metalhead reference and other subtle fourth wall breaks. Despite not all the humor landing, I had a big childish grin on my face for the entire fast moving runtime. 

While not building upon the first, The Second Part takes the pieces that work from the first and puts them into a whole different adventure that the whole family can enjoy. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 /5

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