Let’s be honest here: When The Lego Movie hit theaters, it not only topped the expectations that were placed on it, it blew them away into a million tiny foot-destroying pieces. In every literal sense of the word, The Lego Movie was probably one of the most unexpectedly great movies to ever hit theaters, taking what was essentially a toy commercial and making something amazingly imaginative, funny, and profound.
So, The Lego Movie 2 has big brick shoes to fill and, on top of that, the expectations that were held so low for the first movie have been elevated to impossible standards. Personally, if I were this sequel, I would be more nervous.
So, in the world of Bricksville, five years have passed since the the Duplo invasion that closed out the first movie and now, Emmett and Wyldstyle and all of their friends, live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. However, this obvious Mad Max parody is short lived as a visitor from outer space kidnaps every major character but Emmett and Emmett has to journey into space to find them in the dreaded Sis-Starr System.
Comparing the two movies, the sequel is obviously the weaker. While it is good and a lot of fun, a lot of the surprise is lost and there are a lot of jokes that curiously miss the mark. I also found the movie’s tendency of holding the viewer’s hand and actually showing them what was going on in the “real world” between the brother and the sister was, dare I say… annoying compared to how The Man Upstairs was handled in the first, especially since the brother and sister plot was pretty obvious given the clues that the movie was throwing out. We didn’t need it shown to us every few minutes.
More than that, there is a character twist that is more than a little telegraphed and on the nose. I’m trying to keep this review spoiler-free, but considering the person who was voicing this character and the incredibly obvious meta-humor involved with this character and the person who voices him, his true identity and motivation is pretty clear long before it’s revealed.
There are an awful lot of jokes that fall flat this time around as well and they strangely linger on them rather than bug out like they rightfully should have done.
Still, despite these shortcomings, The Lego Movie 2 is a lot of fun, carries much the same energy and glee as the first movie, and does introduce some new fun characters, my favorite of which is the shape-shifting Queen WhateverIwannabe who is animated in such an entertaining way and sings one of the more clever songs in the movie.
So, yes, although it does come off as a beat by beat retread of the plot of the first movie, The Lego Movie 2 enhances it just enough and adds just enough to make it a fun and enjoyable experience, though not as unique as I would have liked.