- by Jeff Beck
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: A Not-As-Awesome Follow-Up (Blu-ray)
It’s pretty safe to say that “The LEGO Movie” was the single most popular animated film of 2014. Riding a wave of critical praise and a ton of awards for Best Animated Feature (which concluded with a shocking Oscar snub), it was a highly-creative film that, while the story may have been a little simplistic, was a fun and entertaining experience. With this immense popularity, it was inevitable that a sequel would be made as soon as possible, which brings us to five years later where we are faced with the aptly-titled follow-up “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.” Would the studio be able to duplicate the grand success of the original, or would this simply be a case of pushing their luck?
When we last left Emmet (Voice of Chris Pratt) and his friends, the Duplo aliens had invaded the town of Bricksburg, sparking a devastating battle that leaves the city in ruins. Five years later, the survivors have gotten on with their lives in a city now known as Apocalypseburg. While everyone has become rather brooding, including Lucy (Voice of Elizabeth Banks), Emmet remains hopeful that they can live happily ever after, even going so far as to build them a dream house. However, Emmet has recently been troubled by a dream that predicts a coming destructive event. This is quickly followed by a seemingly-evil enemy which proclaims that Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Voice of Tiffany Haddish) wants to marry the leader of the town, which results in one of her henchmen kidnapping Lucy, Batman (Voice of Will Arnett), and a few others. With his friends in trouble, it’s once again up to Emmet to help save the day.
As mentioned, the original “The LEGO Movie” had been a pretty fun experience. It was your typical good guy vs. bad guy plotline, but the animation was startling, showing an incredible amount of imagination when it came to conjuring various props for the film’s story (which fits rather perfectly when you think of how LEGO is meant to spark the imagination as to what can be built with it). Throw in a mix of original characters and several others from pop culture (and even a few historical figures) and what we ended up with was a solidly entertaining flick (and that’s despite the obvious background feeling of it being a 90-minute ad for LEGOs).
When it comes to the sequel, a lot of that same creativity is still at work. The animation is still as smooth, colorful, and stunning throughout, but unfortunately, this time around the story isn’t quite where it needs to be to make this an adventure worth another 90-minute investment. For this sequel, it’s a little too all over the place, while trying just a little too hard to link it to the real-world happenings at the same time (something the original film had done pretty well). This is not to mention how it comes across as being a little padded out with unnecessary musical numbers that don’t really add anything to the film (the original only had its one catchy song, which was actually used as a plotpoint, while the sequel doesn’t really have any use for its multiple tunes). If anything, they feel like mere distractions from a noticeably weaker storyline involving time travel and a sibling feud.
This is not to say that this LEGO sequel is a bad film, but rather that it just doesn’t quite live up to the startling imagination that was shown in the original. There’s still a lot to admire here, including the great vocal talents of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and many more, as well as the great LEGO transformations that happen before our eyes, but this just makes you wish that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s script had been just a little stronger so as to support all of it. This does inevitably beg the question of if we’ll be seeing a third part, and while the film doesn’t give us a definite answer, the somewhat underwhelming box office would seem to provide a clear enough conclusion. While “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” ultimately didn’t quite live up to what it could have been, at least we’ll always have that intriguing original film that delivered on just how astonishing LEGOs can be in the right hands.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” comes to Blu-ray in a 2.4:1, 1080p High Definition transfer of outstanding quality. Every frame is bright, colorful, and sharp, highlighting the film’s remarkable animation and character design. Likewise, the Dolby Atmost-TrueHD Audio is fantastic, giving you all of the dialogue, sound effects, and score/musical numbers in excellent quality. Overall, there’s really no complaints to be had, leaving you with a great experience in both departments.
Commentary: A somewhat bland track that has director Mike Mitchell, writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and animation director Trisha Gum discussing the film.
They Come in Pieces: Assembling The LEGO Movie 2 (9 Minutes): A neat look behind the scenes at the making of the film, featuring interviews with the cast and crew.
Outtakes and Deleted Scenes (12 Minutes): A hearty selection of material, featuring deleted and alternate sequences (at various stages of development).
Emmet’s Holiday Party: A LEGO Movie Short (3 Minutes): A very short film featuring Emmet and his friends.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” features a good dose of imagination in its incredible animation, which once again takes great advantage of the creative aspect of its namesake, and a richly talented vocal cast, but unfortunately the story doesn’t quite live up to the nature of that creativeness this time around, opting for a more scattered and distracted narrative that ultimately makes this a somewhat forgettable follow-up.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow.
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