Written by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
Starring: Chris Pratt (Avengers: Infinity War, Passengers), Elizabeth Banks (The Happytime Murders), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Tiffany Haddish (Night School)
Fresh from their recent web-shooting success with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are quick to pounce back into the funny, blocky world of The Lego Movie. Surprisingly, The Lego Movie 2 matches the thrills and laughs of the first and makes it even more awesome. As animated sequels go, this is one of the best – if not the best.
The Lego world is turned into a post-apocalyptic wasteland (Apocalypseburg) after being attacked by the rival Systar System – leaving the clueless hero Emmett (Chris Pratt) and his dark, brooding ‘special best friend’ Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) to survive their new environment. But when Lucy and a cluster of others are kidnapped by General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) for Queen Waterva Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), Emmett has to find the courage to save them.
The Lego world comes under threat from the 'Systar System'
Originally a twist in the first film, the godly human Lego players Finn (Jadon Sand) and his sister Bianca (The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince) are up against each other. The sibling rivalry reaches often Grecian proportions as the battles become more destructive, but their relationship grows closer with some really nice and sensitive edges (unlike actual Lego).
Finn has turned into a teenager and, without delving too much into psychology, an effort to be tougher seems to bleed into Emmett. It’s mostly personified in Rex Dangervest (also Pratt), the exciting and stubbled traveller who mentors Emmett in the art of being tough.
From start to finish, the film never stops having fun. The jokes are varied and fast-flying, ranging from hilarious digs at the DC cinematic universe to epic indulgences of silliness. A rib-harming highlight involves an anxious banana who’s very self-conscious about slipping over – the film’s worth paying to see for that joke alone.
Emmett (Chris Pratt is taught to be tougher by Rex Dangervest (also Pratt)
More than this, The Lego Movie 2 is wonderfully adept at both writing and satirising the typical animation movie song. Everyone will relate to the parodic ‘Catchy Song’, crafted out of every loud and addictive pop song ever made (‘this song’s gonna get stuck inside your head!’).
But the song with the most resonance is an inverted take on the ubiquitous ‘Everything is Awesome!!’ from the first film. ‘Everything’s Not Awesome’ deserves the same volume of attention, not only for being tear-jerkingly funny, but for its emotional relevance. On the one hand, it shows Finn’s development as a teenager – wading through the initiatory stages of existential angst – but on the other, it’s like a rallying cry against the state of the world right now.
General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) helps Queen Waterva (Tiffany Haddish) to kidnap Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and others
At the risk of over-analysing a kids’ film (with plenty of mature jokes to enjoy), The Lego Movie 2 is like an over-joyous protest – everything’s not awesome, but we can strive to make it better. There’s even a Trump-like character called President Business (Will Ferrell) who rides around in a golf cart, and Emmett twists a hateful slogan into a lovely one with ‘Make everything awesome again’.
It makes The Lego Movie 2 more than a series of connective adventures filled with meta-jokes and pop culture references – it’s also an awesome antidote to our times. It’s a lesson for progress: we have to acknowledge the dark in order to welcome the light. An impatient ice-cream cone voiced by Richard Ayoade also helps.
The Lego Movie 2 is released in UK cinemas on Friday 8th February
|What||The Lego Movie 2 review|
08 Feb 19 – 08 Feb 20, TIMES VARY
|Price||£ determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|