Back in 2014, The Lego Movie came as an incredible surprise to many, including myself. So going into The Second Part it had a high bar to clear, and though it doesn’t come close to surpassing the original, it still delivers a film full of things to unpack. The Second Part, like the original, wraps it’s interesting commentaries in a colorful, high energy tone making it constantly entertaining. Your attention is locked in, as through the entire runtime a large assortment of jokes and meta-pop culture references are thrown your way.
Narratively The Second Part picks up exactly where The Lego Movie left off, as we are introduced to Finn’s sister, Bianca’s toys. And it’s throughout the film where we see their two worlds collide. But it’s at the same time where The Second Part is shifting between two perspectives. While the first film was entirely from Finn’s point of view, The Lego Movie 2 has to balance between both Finn’s and Bianca’s imaginations, and the execution of that isn’t always that successful. Trying to juggle those two perspectives can prove to make The Second Part a little tricky, especially when it adds that the Lego minifigures have their own autonomy. Which was only given a glimpse in the first film, but in the sequel, it feels very much like a narrative crutch.
This film also suffers from a bit of sequelitis, piling on more musical sequences and callbacks that don’t really enrich the narrative. At the same time screenwriters Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are no strangers to parodying sequels, i.e. 22 Jump Street. Their brand of personal vision, of bighearted, sharp wordplay irreverence, remains a strong and rare commodity in Hollywood. All of which makes you grateful for this film’s occasional stretches of full fledge comic delirium. Though as well this film, like the first, thematically hits pretty well, as it dives into a boys definition of “mature”. As for him it means to become angrier, gritter and meaner, and the films observation and messaging of that is quite valuable. It’s a thoughtful look at how we raise boys and girls.
Though in The Lego Movie everything seemed to be awesome, it’s hard to make everything awesome again. And overall The Lego Movie 2 has a tough time stacking up to its predecessor, yet it still finds its lane to deliver. It’s both successful and a bit of a letdown. Though the sequel may not be as tight or cohesive as the first film, it’s still quite delightful. As it continues to meld thoughtful themes and heavy doses of energetic humor.