Game Recognizes Game
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part | Directed by Mike Mitchell | Comedy | PG | 1 H 46 MIN
Written by Anton Charpentier
In the first Lego movie we are treated to a wonderful and funny story on the power of creativity as self-expression. This time round, we get an entirely new story on masculinity and family. Once again, the animation power house of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller prove that they’re the smartest in the business and the team to watch out for innovation in the field of animation; I refer to their wonderful movie Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse that came out last month. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part isn’t as great as the first but proves to be a unique and powerful film all the same.
The film begins where the last one left off, the world of Lego is being visits by Duplo from the Sistar System. A reference to the boy playing with his Legos interacting with his younger sister, in case the name wasn’t obvious enough. Doubling down on the fact that their world co-exists with our reality, in this case a family which stars Will Farrell and Maya Rudolph as parents to two siblings. The story then jumps ahead five years where the once towering city of Bricksburg has crumbled into a post-apocalyptic world of Apocalypseburg, symbolizing the increased age of the Boy who wants things to seem tougher. Our hero from the first film Emmett (Chris Pratt) decides to build a cute house for his special best friend Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), but this triggers another attack from the aliens from the Sistar System, causing all of Emmett’s friends to be kidnapped by General Sweet Mayhem. Emmett, alone, decides that he has to toughen up and go on a solo male journey to save his friends; on his way running into Rex Dangervest (a parody of all of Pratts other roles combined) who teaches Emmett the art of master breaking. Essential, Emmett learns toxic masculinity thinking it’s the only way to save his friends and what Wildstyle wants him to become.
It’s a very powerful message for a film to have, especially considering the current movements like #metoo which were ultimately started by unchecked toxic masculinity. What the Lego Movie does so well is demonstrate that being tough in societies eyes doesn’t get you anything or anywhere, instead it summons your Mother who will take away all of your Lego; wait, no, but you get the point. Even more significant is the impression it will make on the primarily younger audience who will see the film. Hopefully, it will change the minds of a few older audience members too.
The animation, done by Animal Logic, is once again outstanding. The unique blend of stop motion animation techniques mixed with photorealistic CGI is complete eye candy; While also paying homage to the stop motion films created by Lego fans for decades prior. Enough praise cannot be given to the animators, blowing my expectations out of the water for each entry into the Lego franchise. In context with every aspect of the film, the animation teams have come back once again in full force trying to outdo themselves at every corner.
In conclusion, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is worthy successor to the first film and perhaps more relevant to the current zeitgeist. Perhaps not as timeless or impressive as the first films innovative narrative and animation; the sequel does a good job telling a new story with the characters we’ve come to love. My recommendation is that you see this movie the way you want to see it, in theatres or at home when it releases for rental or streaming, but make sure you watch this movie. At the very least you’ll think it’s absolutely adorable.
Watch the Official Trailer Below