Review: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
Catering more for a younger audience, it entertains but nothing actually happens...Now the first Lego Movie was hugely successful, The Lego Batman Movie was pretty good, and The Lego Ninjago Movie was adequate. With a gradual downward trend in quality, I went into this film uncertain of what to expect. While it doesn't have the same impact that the first film did, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is certainly on par with The Lego Batman Movie at a minimum.
Following on as a direct sequel to the first Lego Movie the film adds another dimension with the introduction of a new source of characters. For those that have forgotten, the entire first film was effectively a story acted out in the imagination of eight-and-a-half-year-old Finn. In this sequel, as parents do, they encourage Finn's younger sister to join in and we get an actual dimension added in the form of the "Systar" System.
While a direct sequel, it goes through a quick timelapse with the majority of the film taking place 5 years in the future. A great decision by the writers, as this allows a shift in tone to occur with the human, Finn, growing from the happy-go-lucky eight-and-a-half-year-old, into an angsty teenager. His sister also growing up from the pre-Lego age. This allows a large quantity of relatable visual content to occur as we get to watch the various ways in which different age groups use the different Lego systems; from the simple Duplo to the added complexities of Lego and the more feminine Lego Friends.
Watching the film you can't help but be reminded of all the scenarios, buildings, and vehicles we would create in our youth. And for those that have siblings, you will know full well the battles that will frequently occur over who gets to play with what.
While an enjoyable film, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part isn't quite as mature as it's predecessor. There are certainly a few adult jokes that we would be glad that the kids cannot understand, but the movie as a whole has shifted more towards the younger audiences. There are still some good themes, looking a lot at not only family but at gender roles too. One thing that I can't get passed, is the nagging feeling that the end of the film was decided before the rest of the script. By this, I mean that many of the events feel like they were forcing the film in a certain direction, rather than being organic to the characters personalities.
Screenplay writers Lord & Miller try to throw off the audience by inserting various twists, like young M. Night Shyamalans; while they do catch you off-guard and surprise you, the execution of some of them leave a lot to be desired and end up reducing the effectiveness of the climax. It is the execution that really holds the film back from reaching its full potential. There are some great jokes, but there are also some lazy jokes and others that are poorly timed and fall flat. The storyline becomes rather convoluted in the third act, which is an odd direction considering the film seeming to target younger audiences. You can see what they were aiming for, but the way in which they went for it leaves a lot to be desired.
Overall, it's a fun film. It still has great moments, engaging characters, and it brings something new to what would have become an overused premise. Some creative song and dance numbers are also included which are well written lyrically, even if they are more common in the movie than you would have otherwise expected. It doesn't reach the peaks of originality that its predecessor was known for, but it does a great job at remaining relevant, having an endearing message, and keeping the young'uns in the audience squealing in glee throughout.