Review by J.T. Johnson
It has been five years since Warner Bros. released “The Lego Movie” into theaters. It was a surprise hit with a heart of gold featuring the famous construction bricks. It was also a huge financial hit, so a sequel was always inevitable, but the big question (as with any sequel) is whether or not writers Phil Lord and Cristopher Miller were able to catch lightning in a bottle twice.
The problem is that “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” ultimately has two problems running against it. The first is that it doesn’t have the element of surprise anymore since the first film was a hit and this one has the expectations of its audience going against it. The second, and more important, flaw is that the story just isn’t as strong.
In this movie, seemingly adorable alien invaders arrive and begin to abduct citizens and they start destroying Bricksburg. Five years later, Brickburg has been destroyed and given way to Apocalypseburg, a dystopian world where our characters live hard lives and try to avoid anything cute in hopes that the invaders won’t return. Unfortunately, a probe does return and it kidnaps Emmet Brickowski’s (Chris Pratt) friends and he must toughen up and come to their rescue.
The main problem with the writing of this film is that it feels unfocused when compared to the first film. The villain in this film is not as well defined as Will Ferrell’s Lord Business and through most of the film, you’re waiting for it to get to some kind of point. Before the third act, Lord and Miller do manage to find their focus and the movie has a clear objective.
The only other problem with this movie is that it just wasn’t as memorable as the first movie. After the credits rolled, I honestly had a hard time recalling any memorable moments that stood out above the rest. The movie is always on the verge of being a good movie, but it just doesn’t quite get there.
Of course, the main target audience for this film are the children. I watched the film filled with kids and while they definitely laughed here and there, even they were pretty silent throughout. So, as a distraction for kids, I think the first film is a far better option.
I can say that this movie isn’t completely bad. It is humorous at times and it does have a good message to it like the first film. Like the original, the movie goes with the concept that this world exists in the imagination of real world people, this time focusing on sibling rivalry instead of a rocky relationship between a father and son.
Sadly, though, the film just can’t get away from its problems to provide a memorable experience like they did with the first movie. Despite a decent message and some humorous moments, the film is just too unfocused and ultimately, everything is not awesome with this subpar sequel.