Movie Review: ‘The LEGO Movie 2’
Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman
Plot: After the Duplo invasion reduces Bricksburg to an apocalyptic wasteland the population becomes hardened and tough…except the ever optimistic Emmet. When his friends are kidnapped into space by a Mini-Doll Emmet has to toughen up to rescue them.
Review: To say that The LEGO Movie surprised people is an understatement. Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s subversive script wherein the generic chosen one story was revealed to be the mechanicians of a child disrupting their father’s LEGO display was a clever and funny departure from most family films. After a couple of spin-off films in the lead up to this sequel, and the replacement of Lord and Miller with Mike Mitchell (whose previous work as a director is…not good), it would seem that the joke has worn itself a thin.
Not that it isn’t a fun movie. The framing device of a conflict between siblings does the job, even if the main conflict devolves into a very overdone trope about time travel. It’s certainly not a plot that adds anything to the original concept except an excuse to introduce a bunch of new characters and varying degrees of interest.
On the subject of the new characters, this is possibly the best ensemble comedy cast we’ve ever seen. Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman have stepped down, but we now have Stephanie Beatrix, Tiffany Haddish, Richard Ayoade, Will Forte, Bruce Willis, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Schwartz, Noel Fielding and others ensuring that even the smallest roles have a talented performer behind them. It’s just a shame that few of them serve much narrative purpose and the original characters don’t develop much.
There’s the elements of a good story here, but they’re clearly trying to hide the the twists at the expense of developing real stakes. The characters keep talking about abstract dangers that were seen by Emmet in a dream, but we never feel like there’s anything at stake. After four times around the LEGO playroom we’ve seen everything this franchise has to offer.
Rating: SIX out of TEN