It’s amazing how time flies. In 2014, ‘The Lego Movie’ surprised and delighted everyone including Warner executives who then saw the potential for a cinematic universe of films.
Two spin-offs followed with varying results, creating franchise fatigue in some circles and so it can be easy to forget that this is the actual direct sequel with the same writers (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller) as the first movie. To that end, ‘The Lego Movie 2’ is satisfactory; it continues the story organically and retains all the humour and heart from the first one. Yet, like most sequels, it finds it more difficult to surprise us.
The plot boils down to Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) being kidnapped and Emmett (Chris Pratt) going off to rescue her. Lucy as we know and love her, ain’t going to just sit around waiting to be rescued, so we follow both leads as they struggle to save the day separately. The sequel shines with the introduction of new characters General Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) and Rex Dangervest (Chris Pratt), and of course Batman (Will Arnett) still remains a highlight.
The twist ending of the first film was genuinely a surprise and lent it an unexpected depth and sentimentality. The follow-up can’t possibly recreate that but does build upon it. Unfortunately, knowing what is going on beyond the Lego world makes the ending a little predictable and gives it a sense of inevitability. The film, so well paced throughout, actually gets a little tedious near the end as a result. Young audiences seemed to have no complaints though and it delivered a good, heartfelt message.
The animation is slick and gorgeous, lots of primary colours that should delight audiences of all ages. Meta and pop culture jokes sprinkled throughout raise some chuckles and there are some clever call backs to the original.
This is a sweet, enjoyable, fun movie and a solid sequel. As for the future of the franchise, it does not leave you clamouring for more of the same – it just delivers it.