‘Lego’ returns with wobbly but playful sequel
Lush cartoon visuals interlock with a heartwarming story in “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” a wobbly but playful sequel to the fantastic 2014 film.
Still colorfully told through its construction toy-inspired style, this second film revisits the denizens of Bricksburg, whose unfolding tale was revealed to be influenced by a dad (Will Ferrell) and his kids, in the first movie’s live-action parts.
Perpetually “invaded” by the daughter Bianca’s (Brooklynn Prince) Duplo toys—interlocking bricks for younger kids—the Lego city routinely gets a destructive makeover. Its heroes, Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) and Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), must adapt to its ever-changing, postapocalyptic landscape. The tiny toy beings are unaware that their destinies are being shaped by Bianca and her older brother Finn (Jadon Sand).
Lucy and a few allies soon find themselves in a strange world, where its shape-shifting ruler, Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), wishes them to attend a royal wedding.
Emmet, meanwhile, goes on a dangerous rescue mission and meets a scruffy mystery man, who might help him find his friends—and teach him a thing or two about survival.
Directed by Mike Mitchell (“Trolls,” “Shrek Forever After”), the film is cowritten by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who cohelmed the first “Lego Movie.” This adventure isn’t as lively or as funny as the first part, but it still has fascinating gags involving the breaking of the fourth wall.
Maya Rudolph shows up in the live-action world as the strict but reasonable mother of the kids, her helpful presence making up for the onscreen absence of Will Ferrell, who still voices the off-screen dad and the once-villainous Lego minifigure, Lord Business.
Batman (voiced by Will Arnett), who had his stand-alone story, “The Lego Batman Movie,” two years ago, figures in a weird but welcome romance subplot. Like in the solo movie, the storytellers have free rein on developing the not-so-grim Caped Crusader, poking fun at his long-revered, dark-avenger mythology.
The other DC characters are back as well, heroes Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Green Lantern (who is still treated like an outcast, in the continuation of an odd joke from the first film). It’s also explained, very succinctly, why there are no Marvel properties joining this particular caper.
Despite fewer mind-blowing surprises this time, you can still love it to pieces, as “The Lego Story 2” succeeds on two fronts: Emmet and Lucy’s intertwined soul-searching on change and growth, and the live-action portion’s affecting depictions of familial friction and harmony.
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