To those of us who had grown up on the Lego Games from Star Wars to Lord of The Rings, the triumph that was the first Lego Movie continued a strong tradition of quality based around the Lego extended universe. Visual Effects studio Animal Logic constructed a beautifully rendered world bursting with detail and based their style around the stop motion ‘brickfilms’ that fans would make in their own time. Crucially though the writing was sharp, self-aware, and most importantly sincere when it needed to be. As Chris Mckay said they “took something you could claim is the most cynical cash grab in cinematic history, basically a 90 minute LEGO commercial, and turned it into a celebration of creativity, fun and invention”.
So after both a Batman and Ninjago spinoff, has The Second Part managed to avoid the perils of the sequel? For the most part…yes. Picking up immediately after the first film, the real world boy finds out he now has to share the lego with his sister, therefore Emmett and his friends find their world under attack by Duplo, shiny stickers and all things ‘sistery’. This eventually culminates in Wildstyle, Batman and all of Emmett’s friends being abducted by the invaders.
Aesthetically speaking, LM:2 is another treat for the eyes and ears. The worlds feel constructed brick by brick and the sheer amount of stuff on-screen begs for repeat viewing in order to capture every easter egg. Combined with a talented voice cast breathing life into every character and you have a damn good cinema experience regardless of the story.
Gags are slotted at every possible moment, taking the Mel Brooks approach: if a joke doesn’t land just move on to the next one. References, puns, slapstick, satire and more it’s all here in one form or another. If we measured comedy purely by laughs then LM:2 is a great film.
Frustratingly what the film has in-jokes it seems to lack in emotional sincerity. Something about the climax and twist failed to form any real lasting effect. The consequences of character’s actions don’t seem to register with them in a film that is all about how the things we say and do can have lasting effects, especially on those who love us.
Overall though not narratively as satisfying as the first, it delivers more than enough in both laughs and visuals. The Lego Movie 2 is a solid cinema experience that like the toy, is suitable for all ages.
Rating: 6 /10
Words by Ed Heap