Everything’s not awesome! But it’s still pretty good, and this song’s in the film! Everything’s not awesome!!! But I would recommend it to a family of fou — ok I’m done.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is exactly as advertised, directed by Mike Mitchell and starring Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, and Nick Offerman reprising their roles from the first LEGO Movie, along with newcomers, Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz. Taking place approximately 5 years after the first installment, the sequel continues to follow the adventures of Emmett Brickowski and Wyldstyle as they adjust to a perilous, desolate…eerily Mad Max-ish existence in the aptly named Apocalypseburg. When mysterious alien invaders abduct Wyldstyle, Batman, and others, Emmett must find the courage to embark on a quest to save his friends and the universe as they know it.
What Was Good?
All the old voice actors are back for this one, which is a huge plus. Chris Pratt and the gang all do an amazing job yet again. It also goes without saying that the animation is, once again, phenomenal and stylistically appealing. As far as it being a sequel, The LEGO Movie 2 cleverly continues the narrative conceit of the first entry in the series in a satisfying way.
Although not quite as funny as the first one, The Second Part had me laughing at several points in the movie. This movie did what all truly great animated movies do, and that is deliver humor that not only the target audience (i.e. kids) laughs at, but also humor that the parents of said target audience can enjoy as well. Also, I must say, there are a couple songs in this movie, particularly in the end credits, that are pretty great.
This film, much like the first one, does an incredible job at satirizing several aspects of the IP contained in the movie, providing a couple of effective 4th wall breaks that wink and nod to the audience. For example, there is a character named Rex Dangervest (who is also voiced by Chris Pratt), who is a gruff, badass space adventurer who helms a futuristic spaceship ran by his loyal raptor companions (this sounds strikingly similar to two multi-billion dollar blockbuster franchises of which Chris Pratt is the lead star….hmmmmmm). While it still has touching and even dramatic moments, the movie never loses sight of what it is and isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself.
What Was Bad?
While the movie does a good job continuing the story of the first one, as mentioned above, this movie is fairly predictable as a direct result of the way in which it is told. It’s hard to explain without spoiling the movie, but I’ll give you an example that, hopefully, doesn’t spoil anything too badly for you. In the first movie, one key plot device is something known as “the Cragle.” Throughout the plot, the audience only knows that it is a destructive substance that Lord Business plans to use to take over the universe.
Eventually, we learn that the movie’s plot is actually being played out by a kid and his dad, and that “the Cragle” is actually “Crazy Glue.” The result is a clever surprise that helps the movie overall, especially as it concludes. They attempt to do similar things in the second one, but now that we know that key plot devices are merely puns or horrendous mis-pronunciations of things happening in real life, it’s a lot harder for The Second Part to retain narrative drama or real surprise.
Besides that and the fact that this movie is simply just not as funny or clever as the original LEGO Movie, that’s about it as far as negatives. This is a solid animated movie for children and adults alike.
What Should Catholics Know?
I believe the movie provides several solid lessons and themes that individuals and families alike should take to heart. One moral argument throughout the film is the idea that as the world becomes more treacherous and dangerous, you need to grow up and abandon child-like naïveté. However, as the movie progresses, we learn that this is not always the proper response to crisis. Instead, staying true to who you are, retaining a sense of child-like innocence and wonder, and devoting yourself to your friends and loved ones when they are in need are what is most important.
Jesus Himself spoke to us about children in a way that aligns with the morals of this film. In the Book of Matthew, He tells us “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” There is something to be said for holding onto a shred of your own childhood in order to avoid falling into nihilism, especially in the face of apocalyptic or cataclysmic events. Even in mundane or commonplace hardships, perhaps it is better for us to be more like Emmett Brickowski.
Should You See It?
Experiencing, at times, the same pitfalls that most animated sequels fall into, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part overcomes these shortcomings and ends up being a satisfying sequel with great comedy and a lot of heart. While I wouldn’t say that this is a must-see film right away, it is definitely one you should check out at some point. Certainly, if you enjoy the LEGO Movie franchise up to this point, you will love The Second Part.
My Score: 7.0/10
Have you already seen The LEGO Movie 2? Are you planning on seeing it? Would you want your own raptor-run spaceship? Let me know what you think!
Until next time, stay tuned and God Bless!