It has been five years since the first happenings in Bricksburg in 2014’s The Lego Movie, and now the wait for the first direct sequel is over. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part not only fulfils my high expectations but, in some ways, particularly the musical aspects, exceeds them.
Creative producers and co-writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller — finally Oscar nominated for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse after being robbed of a nomination for Lego Movie — are back at the top of their game in this colorful world with a clever, witty, wild and toe-tapping follow-up set literally five years later. The happy zone of Bricksburg has been thrown into destructive chaos by Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, seemingly determined to turn it into Apolcalypseburg. This is the problem for otherwise ever-sunny and optimistic Emmet (Chris Pratt), a master builder who sees his world crumbling. He knows he must do something about it, not only to save the place but also his relationship with Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), who has taken on the crisis with a new and surprising resolve and wants to see Emmet toughen up like she has.
Also returning are Lego Batman (a hilarious Will Arnett), and he’s as loopy as ever. The wacky Unikitty (Alison Brie), Metalbeard (Nick Offerman) and Benny (Charlie Day) are back, along with new characters Queen Watnerva Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) and her cohort General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz). Maya Rudolph also is part of the large voice cast this time around.
What I loved best about this edition are the inventive musical numbers including the aptly named “Catchy Song,” the intentionally repetitive tune you can’t get out of your head — and that’s actually a good thing. “Everything Is Awesome” is back in a different way, and all the songs by Joe Lajoie are fun. Beck’s “SuperCool” is not to be missed over the closing credits. Director Mike Mitchell certainly knows his way around using music in animation, also having directed Trolls, along with Shrek Ever After. With invaluable help from animation director Trisha Gum, they keep this thing humming but never lose sight of the character development with a group of Lego creations that are recognizably human and winning throughout.
There’s a strong message about the special nature of each of us, and it’s nice to watch the dynamic develop between Emmet and Lucy as they take divergent paths in their quest to save their best friends and Bricksburg. If you sense a little influence from Mad Max along the way, you wouldn’t be mistaken, as Lord and Miller throw a lot of stuff against the wall in what is a grittier take than the original but has no less heart. Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Jinko Gotoh also produce. Warner Bros. sends it out Friday. Check out my video review above with scenes from the film.
Do you plan to see The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part? Let us know what you think.