After two spinoffs with 2017’s “The Lego Batman Movie” and “The Lego Ninjago Movie”, we finally get to see what happens after the first Lego film’s cliffhanger ending. The characters we loved in 2014’s “The Lego Movie” are back, but now they’re facing a more menacing danger brought by an unlikely enemy.
Five years after the events of the first film, Bricksburg is now Apocalypseburg – a barren wasteland that has been reduced to rubble by LEGO DUPLO® invaders from the Systar System. The citizens have toughened up to adapt to their harsh new world, all except the ever-cheerful construction worker, Emmet Brickowsky (Chris Pratt), who never stopped believing that everything is awesome.
But when General Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) kidnaps Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and several of Emmet’s other friends, he musters the courage to journey to unknown worlds to rescue them. Along the way he meets Rex Dangervest (also voiced by Pratt), who promised to help Emmet with his mission. They brave through pretty planets, cute characters, and catchy songs not just to save Lucy, but also to prevent his prophetic dream of a pending “Armamageddon” from happening.
Everything about “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is just as awesome as its predecessor. The pop culture references, self-aware humor, and catchy musical numbers make it a hilarious film for grownups, as much as it is an enjoyable movie for kids. Come to think of it, you may actually have to be of a certain age to relate to some of the funny references, like a hot tub time machine, Val Kilmer’s lips, and Bruce Willis spending too much time crawling inside vents. These jokes would most definitely fly over younger kids’ heads, but to the older audience these feel like inside jokes that you haven’t heard in a long time. At some point I’m already convinced that this is really a parody film for grownups, disguised as a cute animated musical for kids.
Speaking of music, remember how annoyingly catchy 2014’s “Everything is Awesome” was? “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” takes it several notches higher to give you an even more catchy earworm, with a song that’s called guess what – “Catchy Song”. Its lyrics literally say that it’s gonna be stuck inside your head and true enough, it delivers. The film’s soundtrack features other equally fun and memorable songs, such as Jon Lajoie’s “Not Evil” (performed by Tiffany Haddish), and Beck’s “Super Cool”.
One of the most notable qualities of the “Lego” films is the animation style, which is a creative mix of stop-motion and CGI. What’s interesting is that characters move just as how they would as toys, as if there are invisible hands of children moving them. This may be a tiny detail but one that impacts the whole movie. The movement patterns of the characters tell us that most of the events in the film really go on in the imagination of the kids playing with them.
At its core, the film is a hugely successful marketing strategy. It’s like watching a 107-minute Lego commercial that tells us how lego toys are for everyone – regardless if you’re someone who can build badass, complex creations, or a kid who makes simple yet equally creative playthings. The real genius behind it is that I know that they are essentially selling me lego blocks, but I didn’t mind.