by Hunter Johnson
In 2014, audiences were introduced to the lovable LEGO icon known as Emmet Brickowski, voiced by fan-favorite Chris Pratt. Based on the extremely popular construction toys, “The LEGO Movie” was expected to be a simple cash-grab for Warner Bros, that is, until the film actually came out.
“The LEGO Movie” dominated at the box office and at the critical arena. It was hailed as a groundbreaking achievement in both visual effects and in creative storytelling. Audiences fell in love with Emmet, Wildstyle, LEGO Batman, and many of the other characters, as the film proved to be a great comedy for both children and adults.
Now, after two spinoff films and five years of development, the sequel has finally arrived, and it intends to be just as fantastical and funny as the first film.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” is directed by Mike Mitchell and written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creators of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and the original “The LEGO Movie.”
“The LEGO Movie 2” is an ambitious film with lots of heart and good intentions, and for the most part, it achieves what it’s going for.
It tells a wildly inventive story with twists and turns that the audience won’t see coming. It takes the original plot twist of the first film and runs with it, creating a story that perfectly pairs with the first film as a fantastic double feature.
Chris Pratt is the heart of this film. He plays Emmet with the same innocent charm found in the first film, but now, he also plays a second character named Rex Dangervest, a cowboy/archeologist/raptor trainer/space defender who joins Emmet on this new quest. The character is a literal hybrid of many roles Chris Pratt has played in past action films and is a very welcome presence in the film.
Elizabeth Banks returns as Lucy (previously known as Wildstyle) and yet again does a suitable job in the co-leading role. Will Arnett returns as the now beloved LEGO Batman, hitting it out of the park with an excellent portrayal of Batman, still making self-aware references to past Batman films and still the funniest part of these movies.
The main issue with the film is it’s struggle with comedic timing. The first film effortlessly told jokes that were original, self-aware and laugh-out-loud funny. The sequel does have many moments of pure comedic genius, but it also has many moments of forced humor and unoriginal jokes.
It feels as if the studio watched an original cut of the film and forced its creators to add 40% more jokes, and while a film about animated talking LEGOs certainly does need a good amount of humor, it also needs to work as a good film. This film, much like “The LEGO Ninjago Movie,” has very good messaging that works expertly on a dramatic level, but it suffers on a comedic level. This may be because Lord and Miller returned as writers of the sequel, but not as directors, so they weren’t as tightly connected with the execution of the film as much as the original.
All that said, Lord and Miller’s vision of where this story goes after the first LEGO Movie is an impressive feat. The story picks up immediately after the first film and never slows down. The action is great, the effects are great, the references and Easter eggs are yet again layered throughout the backdrop of the film, and it’s an overall fun time.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” is a successful sequel that doesn’t quite match the excellence of the first film. But it still works as a funny and endearing look at talking plastic toys — which the world, for some odd reason, can’t help but love.
Hunter Johnson is a sophomore theatre major and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He spends his time acting on stage, reading and watching Star Wars, and occasionally doing homework.