The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Directed by: Mike Mitchell
Written by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Featuring the voices of: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett
Length: 106 minutes
Take it from someone who has the four-year-old son and perforated feet to prove it: My house is at its absolute maximum Lego capacity. Yet seconds after stepping outside the screening for The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, I felt an uncontrollable urge to purchase as many multicoloured toy bricks as possible. Such is the irresistible, irrepressible and only infrequently irritating charm of this sequel to what may be one of the greatest animated films of the new millennium.
Was a sequel to Christopher Miller and Phil Lord’s 2014 masterpiece of meta-consumerism absolutely necessary? Not really, just as its two spinoffs, 2017′s The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie, proved to be just-tolerable-enough distractions for harried parents. (Although after approximately 87 rewatches of The Lego Batman Movie with my kid, I’ll cop to adopting a bit of Stockholm Syndrome with the film, and I now think it’s a tidy bit of comic-book genius.) Yet if The Lego Movie 2 had to exist, then its filmmakers went above and beyond the call of studio-mandated fiduciary duty.
Picking up seconds after the first film left off, this new adventure finds gee-shucks leader Emmet (Chris Pratt) and his intellectual-property-licensed buddies (including Will Arnett’s Dark Knight) facing a new threat: emotionally unpredictable and physically destructive Duplo invaders. Cue the hero’s journey of self-discovery, complete with riffs on Pratt’s own career and the actor adopting a killer Kurt Russell impersonation.
The movie has a lot, probably too much, on its mind: the heartbreaking end of adolescence, gender dynamics, parental responsibility, time travel. And while it takes a few beats to rediscover the manic rhythm of the original (Lord and Miller are back writing, but Mike Mitchell takes over directing duties), about half an hour in, every piece more or less clicks, and I will not apologize for that sentence. The filmmakers even manage to introduce a tune as devastatingly ear-wormy as the original’s Everything Is Awesome, even though its title (Catchy Song) betrays the fact that everyone here is working both a little too hard, and not quite hard enough.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part opens Feb. 8