Despite having the tagline ‘The second one’ this is actually the fourth Lego movie in the franchise, though it follows on directly from the first film. Re-uniting with Emmett (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and Unikitty (Alison Brie) amongst others who will delight fans and younger audiences. Directors Lord and Miller return too, making sure every second is filled with as much joy, comedy and fun as possible. Unfortunately, it is not enough to save the film from fatigue; as the inventive spark that made these films so wonderful has started to dim. This is a very funny film, but it is not better than the first.
Where the first film sets up the dual storylines of the toys and the humans that play with them in a neat story, this film becomes a lot more complicated and expects the audience to accept it for the ride. This is a more confusing story, though perhaps the most interesting. The film begins with the ‘invasion’ of duplo toys, brought about by the human sister who wants to play with her brother, the two don’t get along and Emmett’s world is turned into a desolate wasteland. By having Emmett and his carefree persona clash with the higher stakes the rest of the characters are dealing with the film pokes fun at the move to a darker, grittier tone which seems to have gripped modern cinema.
In the midst of Armageddon, a spaceship from the ‘sistar’ system arrives kidnapping Lucy and the other master-builders. It’s up to Emmett to save them and become a tougher person along the way. The masculine traits Lucy would like Emmett to embody is playfully nodded to as toxic. This is most directly dealt with by the introduction of Rex Dangervest, also voiced by Chris Pratt, and is an amalgamation of his career-defining roles. Cool, confident and a little too full of himself it is a hilarious parody of his career, which Chris Pratt is more than happy to accommodate.
As Emmett and co continue to save their world, there’s more than a few cameos to make you smile. Jason Momoa and Gal Gadot voice Aquaman and Wonder Woman respectively, putting in some jokes which comic book fans will enjoy – if the Lego Batman movie didn’t fill that need. Bruce Willis also makes a bizarre appearance. It’s all for fun and the script takes pride in this mess of pop-culture. Where the film does fall is in the execution of the films’ parallel narratives, as well as the visual storytelling – we’ve seen most of this before – it’s still funny and creative but no longer original. Lego Movie 2 is great for kids and adults, but it might be time to retire the bricks until that spark of originality can be found.
The Lego Movie 2 is out today.
Words by Sunny Ramgolam @SunnyRamgolam.
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