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article imageReview: ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ gets literal for the win Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Feb 8, 2019 in Entertainment
‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ takes a more literal approach to its narrative that builds on its self-awareness, while still delivering an amusing caper in a fantastically imaginative world.
Playing is fun and that never changes. But when you’re a kid enjoying your toys, at some point you become aware that you’re doing all the work… which leads to the question, what if they were alive? This idea resulted in countless movies and TV shows featuring children’s toys in their native lands or even their playroom at night when it’s safe to be themselves. The more cynical point of view deems these extensions as little more than a marketing ploy, which isn’t entirely wrong, but they’re also generally pretty entertaining. In The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, actions in the real world threaten the existence of Bricksburg.
Things have been pretty quiet since they defeated President Business (Will Ferrell), making everything really awesome. But then new creatures arrive — big pastel monsters hell-bent on destroying the city. No matter how many times they stop them, they keep coming back. Eventually the rebuilding stops, everyone grows bitter and they adapt to living in Apocalypseburg… everyone, that is, except Emmett (Chris Pratt) who continues to be the happiest man in town. One day, a new character in a space helmet, General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz), arrives and takes Emmett’s friends away in her aircraft. With the help of a rough and tumble guy named Rex Dangervest (also Pratt playing a guy reminiscent of his Jurassic Park character), Emmett travels across worlds to rescue Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and the others, and become a “master breaker.”
While the first film was already self-aware, the sequel takes it a step further by letting the characters peek behind the curtain and glimpse their creators — and potential destroyers. Emmett has a nightmare that shows an even more dystopic world than the one in which they already live, but it’s fragmented and neither he nor Lucy can make heads or tails of it right away. Over the course of their world’s deterioration, Lucy has taken up brooding while Emmett refuses to shed his cheery demeanour even though he’s surrounded by a wasteland. Their world’s disastrous turn is illustrated by a seamless Mad Max: Fury Road chase sequence without the violence. Unfortunately, amongst all the darkness and anger, Emmett’s optimism is starting to lose its charm for Lucy.
However, the bleak storyline is consistently lightened by the amazing characters who’ve reprised their roles in this picture. Will Arnett’s Batman is still one of the most entertaining characters in the Lego-verse, particularly as he’s easily manipulated by the enemy. Pratt pulls double duty, but creates two distinct personalities using just his voice. One can only hope there’s video of Banks recording the section in which Lucy tries to teach Emmett to brood, because her exaggerated angst IRL would be hilarious. Fans of Unikitty (Alison Brie) will be happy to see her more, though Ferrell is only on the periphery of this movie. Tiffany Haddish is perfect as the ever-changing, villainous leader with sass, Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi, while Beatriz voices her more down-to-Earth counterpart.
“Everything is Awesome” was an integral part of the first film, so audiences expect something similar from the sequel. Instead, filmmakers take a different approach to the soundtrack. Like kids’ lyrics, the songs are very factual this time around. "Catchy Song" aptly sings, “This song is gonna get stuck inside your head”; "Super Cool" is a collaboration between Beck, Robyn, and The Lonely Island that pokes fun at/celebrates the credits it’s playing over; and “Everything’s not Awesome” is self-explanatory. It’s still a memorable track list, but completely literal and meta in a manner that once again raises its self-awareness.
This film is still entirely enjoyable, while pushing the idea that a child’s imagination can create bizarre yet exciting narratives. That said, they’ve just about exhausted the novelty of this concept so it’d be best if they stuck to just one sequel.
Director: Mike Mitchell
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett
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