WARNER BROS. PICTURES (2019)
Director: Mike Mitchell
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Maya Rudolph
I wonder if everything is still awesome?
Lego. LEGO. Those little blocks that constantly got lost, stepped on or forgotten about have managed to spawn a stable of successful (ish) movies. Of course, this isn’t new information, The Lego Movie came out to much fanfare and praise in 2014 and since then a constant slew of movies have followed – and whilst box office returns have dwindled somewhat, they all pretty much retain that fun element that so surprised us back in 2014.
It’s been five years since the first movie and the heroes from that movie and their home Bricksburg face a terrifying, blisteringly horrendous new threat – Lego DUPLO. Seemingly coming from outer space, our heroes Emmet (Pratt), Lucy (Banks), Batman (Arnett) and the gang must go to unexplored and dangerous places in order to stop the threat, save Bricksburg, and find out things about themselves they just never knew existed! In other words, young Finn’s (Jadon Sand) even younger sister, Bianca (Brooklynn Prince), has begun playing with his Lego and mixing them with her toys. Oh, the horror!
The Lego Movie was very decent. The Lego Batman Movie was ridiculously funny (for the most part) whilst The Lego Ninjago Movie was just fine. Box office returns would point to the movies losing steam and popularity, so could The Lego Movie 2 buck that trend and bring back the glory days (of one movie)? Not exactly. It’s basically much of the same offerings that The Lego Movie gave us five years ago – similar animation, similar situations, and the only real differences are the changes in the messages for kids (importance of gender roles, death, responsibility etc.) and the fact that this is far more musical than its predecessor. The musical numbers are…OK? They’re just…fine. Some strange decisions happen toward the latter stages that seem to muddy the established waters and, sadly, this is just not as funny as the first. There’s plenty of decent gags that’ll have you chuckling – but these mainly occur in the first half against the Mad Max: Fury Road-esque backdrop. The second half falls away the further along it goes, despite introducing the best new character – Rex Dangervest, the swashbuckling rogue that aids the good guys through their Stairgate struggles. For a portion of the final act, I could feel my concentration slipping away before coming back for the very end scenes.
Once again, the voice acting is extremely good – even Bruce Willis turns up for another easy payday! The cast is uniformly good, it’s the middling narrative that holds the good stuff back. There’s not an awful lot wrong with The Lego Movie 2, it just lacks the spark and freshness of its original predecessor.
Everything’s not quite awesome.
February 11th 2019