Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish
Director: Mike Mitchell
It’s amazing how in the span of five years our expectations teetered so greatly regarding these two movies. When The Lego Movie came out, it looked nothing more than generic product-placement and a way to cash in on a vulnerable younger audience, but it ended up being one of my favorite animated movies of the year. Now with The Lego Movie 2: The Second One coming out, my original skepticism was replaced with excitement and optimism as I couldn’t wait to see what these characters had in store for us this time. As with any other sequel there was a slight drop in quality, but it isn’t enough to prevent The Lego Movie 2: The Second One from more than like being one of the best animated movies of the year.
The film follows Emmet Brickowski (Pratt), the protagonist from the first film as he deals with the fallout of his world going into chaos after aliens invade. After aliens kidnap Lucy (Banks) and the rest of Emmet’s friends, Emmet must go on a journey to rescue them and prove that he has the skills and mentality that a Master Builder should have. The thing that makes this film almost as special as the original is the fact that many of the things that worked about the first film are present in this one. The visuals are impressive, the voice-acting will end up as some of the best of the year, and the comedy captures the attention of both younger and older audiences alike. Pratt in particular is once again one of the highlights of the film as he voices two of the most important characters in the film and does so in a way that is both emotionally captivating and hilarious every step of the way. The most impressive addition to the cast is Haddish, who absolutely steals every scene she is in. Her voice performance is dead-on and her musical numbers will be remembered long after you leave the theater. I would say that the one downside to this movie is that the story is not as strong as the story from the first movie. While it is definitely relatable to those of us with siblings, I felt as though there was much more of an emotional attachment to the plot of the first movie while this story feels more so as a placeholder just to give our characters more screentime. Part of this is due to the human scenes being weaker than the original film’s and the other is that the Lego antagonists are not quite as ironed out as they are in the first movie, but outside of that the film is still quite impressive. This is the type of movie that can be enjoyed by anyone and even though it may not be as good as the first one, it’s the type of movie that’s aimed at younger audiences but can still appeal to people of all ages. While sequels are hardly ever as good as the original, at least this movie makes an attempt and shows what a solid sequel can look like when effort is put into it.
Overall, after the resounding success that The Lego Movie was, it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel and for the most part the sequel delivers. Looking at what this film could’ve been based on the target audience and the almost guaranteed profit that it will make, it was promising to see that the minds behind the film still cared about delivering a quality product that will remain relevant for years to come. Maybe The Lego Movie 2: The Second One can redeem the massive Oscar snub that the first movie received, but only time will tell and we’ll see what this movie is up against.
Overall Score: 7.5/10