By Christian DiMartino
I have been slacking in my movie reviewing. To further, I have been slacking in my movie watching. The weather around here in Indiana has been dreary, and to say the least, a lot of the time I just have not been feeling it. My motivation is missing. However, I am trying to pull myself together and catch up.
So let’s begin with The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which is now two weeks old (again, I feel far behind). I saw this film a week ago, and really not much can really be said to describe this film. We have had quite a few Lego Movies now (four, if I count correctly) that basically you know your expectations going in. These movies, while not always a slamdunk, usually bring the laughs, and are sharper than a lot of animated features. The Lego Movie 2 (don’t expect me to type that full title again) made me laugh out loud a few different times, and is sprinkled with solid laughs few-out. While not as funny or sharp as the original, it gets the job done. And everything, as you might remember it, is still kind of awesome.
So yes The Lego Movie was an undeniable ball. Richly funny from beginning to end and snubbed of a Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination (remember: it did have some live-action, people), the movie was “yuge.” To try and recreate its success couldn’t be easy. The Lego Movie 2 doesn’t quite do it, yet considering a lot of the garbage that passes as children’s entertainment these days (a lot of it I skip), this film does sure come as a blessing. Especially if you’re a parent who would rather see something like Cold Pursuit.
What to say about the plot here? Well, this one actually opens right where the previous film left off. The genius of the original film (SPOILERS if you still live under a rock and haven’t seen it) was that we had a story inside this Lego universe, yet it was all from the imagination of a Lego-obsessed boy. This film branches off of that concept, in which reality and Lego-world collide, and it’s weirdly effective.
Said Lego-obsessed boy has a Lego-obsessed sister, who clashes with his plans. Thus, her plans clash the plans of Emmett (Chris Pratt) and the other members of Lego-land. Thus is the starting point of the plot. Emmett still sees everything as awesome, even as all of the girly elements collide and the [Lego] world as we know it has sort of turned into a Mad Max style universe. Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) is well aware that everything isn’t awesome.
Things take a turn whenever Lucy and a couple of other members are abducted by Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (the unstoppable Tiffany Haddish), a seemingly creepy unicorn who gives off a vibe that is anything but trustworthy, even though her realm is super-charming and winning. Lucy isn’t buying it though, even though Batman (Will Arnett) totally is, despite his denial. Emmett, in the meanwhile, is on a quest to rescue Lucy, and along this journey he comes across Rex (also… Chris Pratt), a galaxy traveling dinosaur trainer (wink, nudge) who attempts to help Emmett return the world to awesomeness.
To try and describe the plot of this thing isn’t necessary. You’re not going to a movie like this for the plot. You’re going for the laughs, and on a few occasions, you get some big laughs. Nothing that made my stomach hurt, necessarily. Yet this is the kind of film, like the original, that attempts just about any joke, whether or not the joke sticks. And in some cases, the jokes stick better than a lot of live action films.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a film that works. The voice-work is inspired, as are the musical numbers or even the visuals (which are, every so often, a knockout). Yet I will say this. I am still a watcher of older episodes of Spongebob Squarepants. Back then, children’s entertainment used to be made with care. A lot of the shows that kids receive nowadays are half-assed and horrible. I can assure you that, despite not being as good as the original, parents will be thankful for this film, because on many occasions, it delivers on its laughs.