Five years ago, The LEGO Movie debuted to very positive feedback from critics and audiences alike. It told a fun story in a creative way, stuffed with jokes both kids and parents could enjoy. Its sequel, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, brings much of the same — which is both its best and worst quality.
The new movie picks up five years after the first, with Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), and the other LEGO characters living in a post-apocalyptic Bricksburg (appropriately renamed “Apocolypseburg”). This is the aftermath of the first movie’s final scene, when the live-action father (Will Ferrell) tells his son that he must let his younger sister play LEGO, too.
One day, a spaceship arrives in Apocolypseburg, taking five of Emmet’s friends — including Lucy — away, out of the basement, and upstairs toward the “Systar System.” This sets off the main action of the movie as Emmet ventures out to rescue them all and stop an impending “Ourmomagedon.”
Throughout, the movie relies on many of the same jokes and bits as the original — from mispronounced names of real-world objects and Emmet’s triple-decker couch to extremely catchy music. In fact, there’s a lot more music in this iteration. Of course, “Everything Is Awesome” comes back, but there are also a handful of musical-style, plot-driven songs, as well as a new and (dare I say) catchier pop tune called “Catchy Song.” And, let me tell you, it does its job.
The sequel also leans heavily into pop culture humor, including even more references meant for adult viewers than the original. There are a lot of Marvel vs. DC jokes — “With the Justice League gone and Marvel not returning our calls, there’s no heroes left, other than original Aquaman. …” — a reference to Hot Tub Time Machine, an RBG appearance, and a running gag about Bruce Willis spending lots of time in air ducts. They all land well, too, which is one of the movie’s stronger points.
In between the jokes and songs, a fairly busy plot unfolds, including significantly more live-action scenes than the first movie. There’s an important twist near the end that is a bit hard to follow if you think too hard about it, so I recommend choosing not to think too hard about it. After all, it’s a kid’s movie, and a fun one at that. Ultimately, it even sneaks in a very wholesome message about getting along with your siblings and playing together.
While The LEGO Movie 2 is certainly worth a watch, the sequel revisits many of the same ideas as its predecessor, making it ultimately less memorable. Did this story need to be told? Probably not, but that’s okay. It’s still a fun and entertaining movie that manages to appeal to all ages.
Just be warned: That song will forever be stuck inside your head.
Photos: Warner Bros.