Back in 2014, a little film known as The Lego Movie was released. Many were skeptical going in and thought it was just going to be nothing but a 100 minute toy commercial, and it turned out to be one of the biggest pleasant surprises of the year. With its clever and fast-paced script, spectacular animation, memorable characters, and an earworm known as “Everything is Awesome!”, it quickly became one of my favorite films of all time and turned writing/directing duo Phil Lord & Christopher Miller into household names where anything they touch turns into gold. After two solid spin-offs, The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie, many were wondering when we would get Emmet and the gang’s next big adventure. But I was skeptical that they got Mike Mitchell, the director responsible for misfires like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Trolls, and the definitely not canon entry in my childhood guilty pleasure series Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, in charge of this film, but hearing that Lord & Miller were writing the script, my fears were put to rest. Now, 5 years after the first film, it is time to return to the brick-filled world of the Lego Cinematic Universe with The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.
The citizens of Bricksburg face a dangerous new threat when Lego Duplo invaders from outer space start to wreck everything in their path. The battle to defeat the enemy and restore harmony to the Lego universe takes Emmet, Lucy, Batman and the rest of their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds that test their courage and creativity.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part had a lot of expectations to live up to and continuing Warner Animation Group’s winning streak of Lego Movies, it still really works. Lord & Miller’s story, while not as fast-paced as the first, still delivers a spaceship-load of hilarious jokes, surprising heart, and a great message about sharing creativity.
And like the previous films, the animators at Australian VFX studio Animal Logic provide some spectacularly creative animation to be expected from any Lord & Miller production. They always know how to experiment with certain styles across their films between the stop-motion esque CGI of the Lego Movies, the delightfully cartoonish style of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, or the experimental comic book style of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Almost everything that is displayed on the screen is entirely made out of Legos with the exception of some of the backgrounds and effects using fabrics, glitter, and paper.
Most of the original cast come back to reprise their roles from the original. Chris Pratt is as always great as the blissfully happy construction worker Emmet as he goes through a well-written arc about how he needs to grow up during the darker times. But Pratt also plays a new character with Rex Dangervest, a galaxy-defending, archeologist, cowboy, and raptor trainer. Dangervest is basically an amalgamation of various characters from Chris Pratt’s career like Star-Lord from the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Joshua Faraday in the 2016 The Magnificent Seven remake, and Owen Grady in Jurassic World. Other standouts include Elizabeth Banks returning as Emmet’s love interest Lucy, Will Arnett once again proving he is my personal favorite portrayal of Batman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, and newcomers like Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz. Also, be on the lookout for many different cameos over the course of the film.
Another unexpected surprise about this movie is that is also kind of is a musical. The songs written by Jon Lajoie are all catchy and fun on their own. But one stand-out earworm that somehow manages to top “Everything is Awesome!” from the first film has to go to a song simply known as “Catchy Song”. I’m sure that kids will be annoying their parents with this earworm performed by Dillon Francis featuring T-Pain and That Girl Lay Lay to no end because of its repetitive chorus consisting of “This song’s gonna get stuck inside your head” over and over and over. Also be sure to stick around during the credits for a hilariously self-aware credits song by The Lonely Island.
Overall, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part continues to build on the Lego franchise. With a hilarious script, fantastic animation, fun characters old and new, and enjoyable songs, the entire crew managed to craft a worthy sequel. If you are a fan of the previous Lego Movies, Phil Lord & Chris Miller fans, or want a fun time at the movies, this is a must-see. I’m going to give The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part a 9/10 with the Edward’s Seal of Approval.