From its redundant title, obnoxious music, confusing meta-narrative to its insistence that Chris Pratt was more likable when he was fat, The Lego Movie 2 feels hastily assembled in comparison to its effortlessly creative predecessor.
It’s been five long years since The Lego Movie first graced the world with its presence. An inventive, touching story about what it means to be special and the importance of making your own path, The Lego Movie proved to be a genuinely funny film that could be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. In the years since they released The Lego Batman movie, a farcical send-up of comic book films rivaled only by last year’s Teen Titans Go To The Movies, as well as The Lego Ninjago Movie, an immensely uninteresting film that was truly designed just to sell toys to children. Now we have the sequel to naive master-builder Emmett’s story, which in comparison to the original’s message urging children not to follow the instructions of major businesses, feels incredibly corporatized and unimaginative. The Second Part does not feel like a bad movie, in fact, I’m sure children across America are loving it, it, unfortunately, comes off feeling like exactly what we expected the surprisingly subversive first film to be: a ninety-minute commercial for expensive children’s toys.
For the first two-thirds of this movie I really wasn’t into it at all. I sat as the film shared several needless blandly-written songs designed to get stuck in your head and wondered which studio exec gave the note: “Everything is Awesome was a hit, we need more music!” I took in the weak humor and didn’t laugh and watched Emmett and Wyldstyle embarked on several long adventures that were clearly padded out to fit the runtime. At this point, I was not resigned to declaring this film to be “bad,” it just clearly was meant for a younger audience. Then the movie’s narrative theme is solidified with a live-action sequence similar to the Will Ferrell reveal from the original, that I started to come around to the Lego Movie 2. I like the message at the soul of this movie and feel the turn it makes is pretty smart. I just wish the rest of the movie felt as heartfelt as the last act. The jokes are fine, the voice acting is fine, the animation is fine, everything is just…fine. It’s a totally acceptable kid’s film and should be regarded as such. It’s just a shame when compared to the first. I can’t help but feel like President Business got in the way. Oh well, I suppose I’ll get over it. As the movie says, “Everything is not awesome and that’s okay.”
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is now playing in theatres.