Everything is awesome again in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, a fun, sassy, and inventive sequel that thankfully doesn’t feel like a rehash of the original.
Once again written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, but with Mike Mitchell taking over directing duties, LEGO 2 ran the risk of taxing audiences with what could potentially be a tired concept. There have now been four LEGO movies and the novelty has worn off to some degree, but thanks to a smart script that probably requires multiple viewings to catch all of the jibs and jabs thrown about and the endlessly inventive nature of LEGOs themselves (and what filmmakers can do with them in a CG environment), LEGO 2 is a thoroughly entertaining movie that appeals to kids and parents alike.
The underlying premise is more predictable this time—this one is about a brother and sister at war with one another, opting to destroy each other’s creativity rather than share in the fun—and the message-filled ending is a bit too sweet and nauseating for my tastes.
Still, the central plot of LEGO 2 is a fun one. From heavy references to Mad Max to DC Comics and probably plenty of things that went right over my head, The LEGO Movie 2 is an ever-shifting, ever-evolving mishmash of genre nostalgia and silliness that somehow avoids being excessive. Whereas The LEGO Batman Movie felt like an overwhelming onslaught of sugar and color at times, this one is just patient enough to pause when needed, regroup, and then push on with its story.
The music, for instance, feels a bit more toned down and less obnoxious this time, with the “Everything is Awesome” song kept on the backburner for much of the time (the movie even makes note of how annoying it is) and only a couple new sequences—one, a highly entertaining one by Tiffany Haddish—introduced.
The attention to detail is amazing, down to the human fingerprints you see on Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Haddish) from certain angles. Even the closing credits are given their due, featuring a fully artistic sequence timed to the best closing credits song of all time—an ode to how the closing credits are the best parts of movies.
Going in, I feared that The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Brick would be an exhausting repeat of the movies that had come before it, its clever use of LEGO animation no longer all that interesting to watch. The movie defies the odds and proves there is plenty of left in the tank, as long as the proper care is taken, brick by brick.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.