Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish
Have I Seen it Before: Nope. Somehow missed the movie while it was in theaters.
Did I Like It: That above statement might dictate this one once again, but you know what? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this one is… sigh… awesome.
The first The Lego Movie (2014) was a revelation wrapped up in a movie that had no right to claim anything resembling a revelation. It’s ultimate twist that—like a Toy Story (1995) with a heaping portion of self-awareness—the proceedings are the playful mental wanderings of a boy (Jadon Sand) trying to just play with his father’s massive collection of Lego. It was a deceptively powerful meditation on creativity wrapped up in a movie wherein one of the characters is constantly asking after the location of his pants.
Where could a possible sequel even go from that high example? The first film sets up a new threat by allowing the boy’s sister (Brooklyn Prince) to also play with the massive piles of bricks, thus threatening to ruin all the boy’s master plans, starting the cycle all over again.
And this is where many may want to break ways with the new film. The revelation is gone, and each plot development is predictable first and enjoyable second.
The question then becomes, is this a problem? Is it fair to compare the film to its progenitor? Is it fair to expect every film clearly made for children to re-wrinkle our adult brains? The answer to all three of those questions are probably no.
To bypass the question of fairness, and address them in reverse order: It’s not fair to expect every movie made for children to really blow our collective hair back. There are plenty of great children’s films that possess only quality storytelling without any Charlie Kaufman-esque antics in place.
While it may not be fair to compare this sequel to its predecessor, that comparison is hard to avoid, and through that prism the film suffers slightly.
But here’s the takeaway: that isn’t a problem. The film is enjoyable, charming, and visually doesn’t let up. It may benefit from coming after the more aggressively disappointing Lego Batman Movie (2017). So what if it isn’t one of the greatest animated movies of all time? Thankfully there are plenty of perfectly fine films within the genre that aren’t as awesome as some of the others.