“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” Falls Well Short of Predecessor

“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” was directed by Mike Mitchell and stars Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett and Tiffany Haddish. The film is the sequel to 2014’s “The LEGO Movie” and is the fourth LEGO film to date, and is about a mysterious group that takes all of Emmet’s friends, forcing him to go on a journey to save them, alongside the help of Rex Dangervest.

The expectations for this sequel were higher than most, almost entirely due to the fact that “The LEGO Movie” is one of the best kids movies made this decade. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are back with this film, but only as screenwriters, which, along with the not-so-great trailers, had me a bit worried. Still, I came into the original not expecting anything and coming out blown away, so I held my hope high.

The Good

As with the first one, the visual effects are truly outstanding. With a new backdrop and new system to explore, the film does a terrific job at building a whole new atmosphere that is just as visually gorgeous as the first. I think the constantly changing Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi makes for a fun addition that is excellently crafted, which is due a lot to the animation done to her character.

And again, much like the first, the voice performances are very strong. Pratt gives a more layered turn in his role throughout this film, and the same can be said about Banks, who hits a bit more on the softer side of her character than in the predecessor. I thought Haddish was very solid as Watevra Wa’Nabi, and I appreciated her ability to be both a questionable antagonist and exciting persona, consistently making the audience wonder what exactly her role will be.

Returning roles like Charlie Day as Benny, Alison Brie as Unikitty and Arnett as Batman are all, once again, solid turns, and I really loved what Will Ferrell and newly added Maya Rudolph brought in their roles as well.

I sound like a broken record, I know, but what “LEGO Movie 2” does well that the original nailed is in its emotional payoff. Though this movie didn’t hide all of its’ cards as well as the first, there is still a lot to love about what this movie has to say when it comes to families and growing up. It didn’t quite hit me to tears, but the sentiment of the movie is certainly a highlight.

The Bad

With a sad heart, I must admit: “The Second Part” is not as good as the first one, and it’s not all that close.

Visually, it’s as good. The voice performances are pretty much as good. The emotion is almost as good. But nothing about “The Second Part” is better than anything from “The LEGO Movie,” and that’s very disappointing.

The biggest drop-off comes in the comedy. Maybe that has to do with a much less impressive director at the helm, but something about these jokes just fail to land that well for the majority of the film. The comedy is never so bad that it makes me upset, but it also rarely got a chuckle out of me, something I would never be able to say about the first film.

Second, the storyline of this film never picks up steam until the final act, again, something very unlike the first. For about an hour, I have no idea what is really going on, which isn’t a problem except for the fact that there isn’t enough intrigue overall to get me to care about what’s going on. As I said, the revelations are pretty strong, but it takes far too long to get to a point as strong as anything from the 2014 hit.

Sequels don’t always need to be compared this closely to the predecessor, I know that, but when a movie like “The Second Part” tries to replicate all the marvelous successes so closely, I have no choice but to compare. And because of this, the best this movie gets is feeling close to on par with the brilliance of Lord and Miller’s creation from five years ago, without ever succeeding it in any shape or form.

Whether this is intentional or not, “The Second Part” feels much more directed towards the younger audience than the original. What made “The LEGO Movie” so amazing was its’ ability to have jokes that make the whole family laugh, where the sequel just wants the kids to laugh. The humor comes off less clever and more dumbed down, which left me disappointed for much of the runtime.

Conclusion

“The LEGO Movie: The Second Part” is an OK movie, and a pretty decent kid’s film, but when thinking about how near-perfect “The LEGO Movie” was, that’s really, really disappointing. Nothing in this movie tops the original, and the film also never really tries to, merely replicating the pros of the first and hoping they just come out gold again. Instead, they come out sort of bronze, failing to ever give me the sheer joy the original still does to this day.

Those hoping for another “LEGO Movie,” you get it, just in a much more mediocre fashion.

Get tickets and showtimes for “The LEGO Movie: The Second Part” here


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