Five years after the invasion of the beings from the planet Duplo, Emmett (Chris Pratt), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), and the rest of the Lego gang are adjusting to life in the post-apocalypse style wasteland that Bricksburg has become. Things seem peaceful until the aliens return, led by General Sweet Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz), demanding that the plastic heroes meet with their queen.
First and foremost, The Lego Movie 2 is just as funny and inventive as it’s predecessor. It has the same fast paced style, even if it has lost a little of it’s visual energy, perhaps due to the change in director. Consequently some of the more meta-textual jokes feel a little contrived. The production is a lot smoother and less charmingly quaint than it’s predecessor which makes the silliness a little less natural.
The maverick final act of The Lego Movie which revealed the events of the film to exist solely in the imagination of a child (or do they?) was one of the most thrilling reveals of that year (along with Matt Damon being a space-asshole in Interstellar or Edward Norton being good again in Birdman). The twist may seem to sequel proof it’s predecessor but screenwriters Lord and Miller have found new ways to use this conceit to explore the way children play together. The entire film hints towards the dynamic between a brother and his younger sister, long before we finally meet either of them.
The cast are all still hilarious and perfectly embody their tiny characters. Chris Pratt offers a dual performance, reprising his role as the infectiously joyful Emmett but also playing Rex Dangervest, a satire of his recent ultra-masculine roles. There’s a beautiful message about masculinity and femininity learning from each other and growing together. Will Arnett is still sublime as Lego Batman and Elizabeth Banks is given more opportunity to be funny than the previous film. New additions Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz fit perfectly into the ensemble.
The film features more musical numbers than it’s predecessor, once again attempting to satire dispossable pop whilst still being an exceptional example of the genre. Songs like Gotham City Guys and Not Evil are truly joyful and showcase Tiffany Haddish’s comedic talents.
The Lego Movie 2 is a fabulous sequel that captures the wit and ambition of it’s predecessor, even if it has lost just a little of it’s charm and novelty. It’s further proof that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are among the boldest voices working in comedy and animation at the moment.