REVIEW: ‘Lego’ sequel is satisfactory

Like the original, while not perfect, “The LEGO Movie 2” puts together the building blocks in a nice enough way to create a pretty good movie.

The first Lego movie was released in 2014 and the five year difference is reflected in the sequel. The protagonists of the first film, having seemingly saved the world, came under an immediate new threat right away, this time from other types of Lego blocks. As a result, Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), and the other heroes are forced to live in a world that looks like “Mad Max” in Lego form.

The situation only gets worse when several characters, including Lucy, are kidnapped by the new foe. As a result, it’s up to Emmet to go on a rescue mission and save his friends.

Just as they did five years ago, the filmmakers for “Lego Movie 2” have a sci-fi/action/adventure story here that’s actually meant to reflect on events taking place with a group of characters in the real world. For me, I’m somewhat in the same boat as I was with the first film. The storytelling model doesn’t bridge the gap between the real world and the animated universe as seamlessly as I’d like, but there’s still a rather charming element there that can win someone over when all is said and done.

By far the best part of the movie is the character arc for Emmet. On his quest, he’s joined by a new character, Rex Dangervest (also voiced by Pratt). Rex is a hardcore adventurer who embraces challenges, and someone Emmet want to be like. Emmet’s drive to be a braver, tougher character is a major part of his development in the picture and as a whole, it works very well. Not only is it entertaining and funny, it also carries some good messaging.

This of course is helped by solid voice acting from Pratt. Similar to his live action performances, Pratt lends a lot of energy and charisma to the role, bringing the character to life in a lovable way. The same can be said about Banks, who has always given Lucy a balance of being a tough action hero while at the same time a rather down to Earth, somewhat cynical character.

Credit also has to go to the supporting cast. Will Arnett once again is great as the Dark Knight, while Tiffany Haddish is wildly entertaining as the newcomer Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi. However, a few of the voices seemed to lean in celebrity cameo territory, such as Jonah Hill in his role of Green Lantern.

As for the humor, there’s a lot of it. This movie throws everything at the audience in terms of comedy for nearly the entire movie, with a couple of breaks given for the more heartfelt moments. From gags to pop culture references, “Lego Movie 2” has a bit of everything.

With that many attempts at humor, it’s natural that some of it hits and some of it misses. However, for the most part, plenty of it works. For example, there’s a point where it’s revealed that Rex’s workers are actually sentient raptors and their dialogue captions are hilarious.

Overall “Lego Movie 2” doesn’t come together for an amazing animated classic, but it’s a fun, enjoyable cinematic experiences regardless. It has enough entertainment value and humor to satisfy audiences and warrants a 3.75 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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