Spoilers might get stuck inside your head.
The LEGO Movie was a rare breed, a movie so aware of the kind of movie it was that it wasn’t afraid to go meta on itself although keeping a level of detachment from the world that was not broken until the very end. In the same vein, everything that happens in The Second Part has a real-world explanation we can trace from the beginning. This time, of course, we know about it so it doesn’t come off as a surprise. The movie makes up for this going for higher stakes and bigger character development, but in the epic scale it falls shorter than its predecessor.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part follows a similar formula than the first movie. Director Mike Miller takes the helm while the script comes from Chris Miller and Phil Lloyd. The weekend box office results are on the low side. It still leads the pack, but with a relative small take. Everything is not as awesome as it was before, although the movie still pulls the funny moments and manages to entertain you through its run. It does feel like it falls a little short of being as awesome as the first one.
If you go back to the first film, you probably will see it. Back then, all universes, all LEGO worlds were in trouble. The notion in this sequel is that there’s one new world that seems to be causing trouble and it’s from the Systar System. Get it? Because it’s the kid’s sister. The idea is that we’re going back to the movie to wrap up the one loose end left behind as a cliffhanger. We know that the kids should play nice and that will be the message as a whole, but we also know that the plot in the in-universe of LEGO should always feel a million times more epic and it doesn’t really hit that mark.
The real-world conflict is basically a simple one. The kids are not playing with each other. The more it gets clarified in the movie, the more the plot of the real world kinda falls apart. It’s frame as a misunderstanding, but it’s really just a corny why-can’t-we-be-friends storyline. Unfortunately, every time we get exposed to more of the real world we seem to lessen the impact of the LEGO plot which starts going in a different direction.
That is too bad, because we really care about our minifig cast. Emmet and Lucy really have a lot of growing up to do to realize what they really want from each other. The minifigs have more complex feelings than the real people in this film. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that LEGO acknowledge that the little sister was also a LEGO fan, even past her Duplo years. That fixes the one imperfect loose end left behind from the first film. This film fails when it tries to force them to play together as a solution. This is a fact known by every brother, sister and specially mother in the universe. The whole threat of taking the toys away if they don’t just feels like something from the 1950s. By contrast, the sub-plot in the LEGO universe feels a lot more grown up as Emmet and Lucy discover what they want from each other.
Which is a pity, because although we’re missing the quest from the first movie, we’re at least getting to a point where Emmet and Lucy start acknowledging each other’s strengths. Tiffany Haddish’s Queen Whatevra has a ton of sass of personality to add to the main cast and even General Sweet Mayhem has an agenda. It would have been cool if any of these new characters would have come up as a Masterbuilder hence tying up with the mythos from the first film but unfortunately that seems to have been left out.
Recommended with reservations. The story feels like a follow-up episode after the finale that doesn’t feel like a sequel but more like an epilogue. In the end, the storyline gets wrapped up in a nice little bow, but the victory feels a little hollow. We’ve gone past the staircase portal and back. Now but it does feel less of a meta/commercial commentary and more of a follow-up with a lot less invested and a lot less to lose that could’ve easily been a straight-to-video DVD. Still, we were glad to see our old friends again and there’s some fun to be had.
That will do for now.