Directed By: Mike Mitchell
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz
Let me get this out of the way: 2014's The LEGO Movie had no right being as good as it was. What could've easily been – and seemed to be – nothing more than a hollow, two-hour advertisement for everyone's favorite building blocks turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining film, one with wit for days and an abundance of heart tucked away underneath its colorful veneer. Though it was followed in 2017 by two spin-offs, The LEGO Batman Movie (which I loved) and The LEGO Ninjago Movie (which I skipped), it's taken five years for the film to get a proper follow-up in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.
Picking up where the first film left off, the citizens of Bricksburg witness the arrival of Duplo aliens that set to work destroying the city before the film skips ahead five years. Time hasn’t been kind to Bricksburg, which has been reduced to a wasteland rebranded as Apocalypseburg, where characters like Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (Will Arnett) have adapted and fit in to a post-apocalyptic lifestyle where violence and pessimistic brooding has become part of the day-to-day culture. As for Emmet (Chris Pratt), however, everything is still awesome, the upbeat hero carrying around the belief that things can only get better if everyone – ahem – works together, though he's haunted by premonitions of a mysterious, world-ending event called Our-Mom-Ageddon.
In time, a visitor arrives in Apocalypseburg named General Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz), sent on behalf of Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) of the far-flung Systar System, who intends to marry Batman, with Mayhem kidnapping him, Lucy, Benny (Charlie Day), Unikitty (Alison Brie), and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman). As the group is taken to the Queen, Emmet – left behind and rudderless for not feeling tough enough to stop anything from happening – sets off in pursuit of his friends, teaming up with the space-faring adventurer Rex Dangervest (also voiced by Chris Pratt) along the way, only to discover new truths about himself and what Our-Mom-Ageddon truly is.
Of course, the real world introduced at the end of the first film ties heavily into the events of this sequel, with the relationship between Finn (Jadon Sand) and his younger sister Bianca (Brooklynn Prince) forming the backbone of the conflict the LEGO characters experience. The sequel has a lot to say about the brother/sister dynamic, both in how age and gender differences create a dividing line between the two, and explores themes of growing up, which is something that makes the film resonate even if it treads some familiar ground already explored by the first film.
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