When The LEGO Movie was released in 2014 it kind of did so in surprising fashion mainly thanks to the writing and directing work of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. What could have easily been a movie made to just sell toys (and let’s be honest, that’s definitely one of the main reasons it was made) was actually a unique, engaging story that was as full of heart as it was laughs. So while The LEGO Movie could’ve easily been a one and done, there’s no way that the powers that be weren’t going to milk it as much as they could – and if the quality kept up audiences certainly wouldn’t put up much of a fight!
The problem was that The LEGO Movie 2 wasn’t the next step, as they wanted to have a LEGO Batman Movie released in 2017. And why not? Batman was a hilarious character who’s also insanely popular on his own, and in the end it worked out great, as the movie was lots of fun and filled with laughs. The oversaturation of the market came later in 2017 when The LEGO Ninjago Movie was released, not really garnering much buzz and really just being a pretty mediocre movie overall. That takes us to 2019 when The LEGO Movie finally got its sequel in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, and by this point it seemed audiences were already a little LEGO’d out, as the movie didn’t even make as much worldwide as the first one did domestically. And that’s unfortunate, as The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a pretty solid sequel to a movie that really didn’t need one.
The Second Part begins right where the first film left off, with Will Farrell (known as The Man Upstairs) telling his son Finn (Jadon Sand) that now that the Lego sets are free to play with, his sister, Bianca (Brooklynn Prince) is allowed to come down and play too. We see Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and the rest of the gang celebrating their win over Lord Business only to be attacked by the Duplo block aliens when Finn’s sister enters the room. That’s where the first movie ended, and this one picks up with Emmet unsuccessfully trying to broker peace between his friends and the aliens, who then go on to attack and destroy Bricksberg in the years that follow.
We then jump ahead five years later and Bricksberg is now abandoned, and only a post-apocalyptic, more grown-up feeling Apocalypseburg remains out in the desert. The happy-go-lucky inhabitants that we knew from Bricksberg are now tough, grizzled, and often brandishing weapons – right down to the crazy cat lady, with her cats tails all wielding various tools of death. Everything is grittier and more mature, well, except for Emmet, who’s as cheery and upbeat as ever. Well, except for a nightmare he had recently about the destruction of their entire universe and everyone he loves along with it in an event called Armumageddon. But aside from that, he’s his usual chipper self! He’s alone in that regard, however, as when he tries to show Lucy a house he’s built for them she’s not really excited as she knows it’ll just get destroyed by an alien invasion just like everything else that was pretty has been.
Almost on queue a new alien arrives on the scene, something they’ve never seen before, but something just as destructive as the more infantile Duplo block aliens that attacked previously. When this space shuttle notices Emett, Lucy and their pal Unikitty (Allison Brie) it gives chase, destroying the house Emmet had just built in the process. Everyone in Apocolypseburg tries to escape to Batman’s lair, but while there, this new foe reveals herself to be General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) who wants to take their leader to her world to meet her Queen. Since nobody can agree on which one of them is the actual leader, Mayhem kidnaps Lucy, Batman, Unikitty, MetalBeard (Nick Offerman) and Benny (Charlie Day), leaving only Emmett to try and figure out how to save his friends and stop the impending Armumageddon from happening.
One thing I wasn’t sure how The LEGO Movie 2 would deal with was the fact that we now know that these characters are being played with by kids, and their actions often reflect the emotions and imagination that are coming from their young overlords. In the first film we didn’t realize this until the third act of the movie, and this revelation was what helped make The LEGO Movie special, and hit home that much more. Trying to pull back the curtain after we’ve already seen behind it isn’t really the easiest thing to do, and The LEGO Movie 2 sort of stumbles out of the gate because of it. It’s still fun, but it lacks some of the magic that the first one had right from the opening scene.
Luckily that fades away after the events above take place and the real story begins. Again, Lord and Miller work their writing magic once again and as the film progresses it finds that same heart and engaging story that worked so well the first time out. Now I’ve only seen it once, but this is one of those movies where I believe it’ll actually be better the second time around, as it no longer has to live up to its predecessor and instead can be enjoyed on its own, likely picking up on things that were missed the first time around thanks to the engaging way the story unfolds the first time through.
There are some great musical numbers added this time, with the best one being “Not Evil,” which is sung by Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish,) who is the leader of the world that General Mayhem is taking Emmet’s friends to. The song is incredibly catchy and flat out hilarious. I actually just went to listen to it now to confirm the title of the track and couldn’t help but laugh continuously through the first verse. And that’s always a great sign of quality comedic writing when something still has you busting up laughing long after the movie is finished.
I absolutely loved The LEGO Movie, and while I always try to keep my expectations in check when watching a movie the first time, it was hard not to have high hopes going into this one. I think part of that may have made it hard to get on board with this movie at the very start, but soon the film’s charm just overtakes you and the story begins to unfold in engaging, heartfelt ways and there’s just no escape from its joyous grasp.
There’s another LEGO spinoff called The Billion Brick Race that’s inspired by various racing films including Cannonball Run in the works, as well as a sequel to LEGO Batman, so we’ve got a ways to go before things slow down on this front. Will there be a LEGO Movie 3? That’s yet to be determined; however, I don’t think one is needed. And that’s not a bad thing! If there’s a strong story to tell then by all means, but as it stands, having two strong animated features that tell stories that’ll easily stand the test of time isn’t a bad note to end on. In fact, it’s an awesome one.
When it comes to animated movies you’re often going to get great visuals in most formats, but once again 4K proves to be a step above, really having this beautiful Lego world pop in ways we’ve come to expect from the powerful format. The movie is often vibrant and everything just looks so sharp and clean that it really helps deliver the best home viewing experience. The Blu-ray format is also strong, with clean visuals and strong images and audio as well, so picking up that combo pack is ideal whether you have a 4K system at home or are looking to pick one up in the future.
Everything Is Awesome Sing-Along – This is an option you’ll get when you first start the movie, much like you do when choosing between a theatrical and Unrated version of a film. This isn’t just a sing-a-long, as it also adds various other little fun things that kids may enjoy, such as a Unikitty character count and animated dialogue throughout, plus some pop-up trivia if you’ve gone through the movie a few times and are looking for something extra this time around.
They Come in Pieces: Assembling The LEGO Movie 2 – This feature is just under 9-minutes in length and focuses on pretty much everything you’d expect from a Making-of feature, from the voice acting, to coming up with a story for the sequel after the success of the first film, to the production of the movie and so forth. These are often entertaining when it comes to animated films as you get to see all the gears in motion that help make sure the machine runs smoothly to create the final product!
Emmet’s Holiday Party: A LEGO Movie Short – This is definitely short, coming in at just under 3-minutes in length! It’s a prequel of sorts seeing Emmet try to bring some holiday cheer to the miserable world that is Apocalypseberg.
Outtakes and Deleted Scenes – There are about 10 scenes here, most of which were unfinished, as unlike most films, animated movies tend to decide beforehand what makes the cut or not, as it’s way too costly to go through the process and then start taking chunks out.
Music Video – There’s a music video for “Super Cool” featuring Becky, Robyn and The Lonely Island, which is awesome.
Audio Commentary – Director Mike Mitchell, writers/producers Lord and Miller and Animation Director Trish Gum go through the usual motions in this audio commentary, which is worth a listen for fans of the film or animation that may want to learn more about the process from the top people involved in it firsthand.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Presents The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Directed by: Mike Mitchell. Written by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Alison Brie, Stephanie Beatriz, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Jadon Sand, Brooklynn Prince. Running time: 107 Minutes. Rating: PG. Released on Blu-ray: May 7, 2019.
Tags: Alison Brie, Batman, Brooklynn Prince, Charlie Day, Chris Pratt, Christoper Miller, Elizabeth Banks, Jadon Sand, Nick Offerman, Phil Lord, Stephanie Beatriz, The Lego Movie, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Tiffany Haddish, Will Arnett