It’s a real revolution the way the LEGO series grew similarly with its viewers. Compared to my experience back in 2014, I only wrote one movie review every few months for my parents’ blog. Now, it’s a weekly side hobby as I stretch to someday do it professionally. Much like my own gradual growth, these two parts to the LEGO cinematic universe keenly adapt to the values of the time. While The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part remains inconsistently nonsensical like the first movie, it still does more to develop greater complexity of what it analyzes about our culture. Director Mike Mitchell picks up exactly from the instant of the last feature’s finale for a new, mature direction you’d never guess the franchise could go, yet it goes there, to results that are both different and the same as before.
Not that it means the returning familiar characters, such as the Dark Knight, change in a way that enhances the entire product. There’s still a thoughtless plot twist that randomly throws itself about alongside cameos of Harley Quinn, “Larry” Poppins, Velma from Scooby Doo, and an unnecessary parody to “Let’s all go to the lobby.” Yes, it’s that kind of writing; the kind that weakens the main romance from before because the returning screenwriters, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, dig too shallow into a young boy’s psychology beyond the fist-shaped spaceship, “Rexcelsior.” They also dig too shallow into a young girl’s psychology, as the ruler of the feminized galaxy, the “Sistar System,” doesn’t feel like much of a threat.
These contrasting galaxies try to establish a metaphor saying siblings should play together, except Batman’s floss dance to maracas played by dinosaurs isn’t necessary for that message to get across. Other types of jokes milk the entertainment factor too far, particularly cartoon gags in a dainty little house, the return of that dreaded double decker couch (with an upgrade), and more jokes on the Batman franchise. Few important aspects from this abuse of self-aware humor prove significance beyond what audiences may be sick of by now.
Then Bricksburg becomes Apocalypseburg centered around a desolate lady liberty. But less on that, onto the girly toyland of the Sistar system, and its ruler, Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi. This queen is detailed with fingerprinted bricks that take on fun animations throughout two musical numbers, exclaiming she’s “totally not evil,” much like the adorably destructive vivid invaders with huge puppy dog eyes on cute little weapons shaped like hearts and stars. She could probably cause Ar-mama-gedds-in, a feared event that is actually a clever depiction of simple kid playtime problems, such as the older sibling forbidding the younger sibling from touching his or her toys. It all builds a better portrait of girl toys combined with very Muppet-esque humor to go against the style of the first movie, ultimately becoming a distinct twist on older alien invasion flicks.
Yet there’s plenty enough like the first movie to keep the familiar lovability intact; it keeps up with some fun little Easter eggs, as a LEGO Oscar appears for the satisfaction of those who still feel angered by the first movie’s infamous snub four years ago (myself included). Everybody from the snobby cinema scholars to the casual popcorn-happy moviegoers, will find guaranteed emotional satisfaction from the eventual fate of the Sistar system’s massive glory.
Yet to everyone who’s about to see this, a little fair warning: there’s a new song called, “Catchy Song,” that indeed gets stuck inside your head like the lyrics say they will. That song comes up specifically to be a mind-control device in an ominously happy scene that’s ultimately childish without a hint of sense. Regardless, I for one still find myself tapping away to “Catchy Song” whenever it plays! That’s my experience with LEGO on film: it’s still plenty of fun despite the clear flaws.
There’s a real proven power of LEGO’s motion pictures:
The LEGO Movie criticized the Obama administration exploiting corporate America so it could obtain an impractically perfect vision. Batman’s spinoff redefined our famous crusader as we reconsidered our sense of morality shortly after Trump’s inauguration. Ninjago is pure garbage, so it doesn’t count. Now, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part brings pop culture of boys and girls together to help tomorrow’s generation build a better society together. My, what a cultural shift we’ve made, and through something that looks like a toy commercial! Just compare that to thirty years ago, when anything with the word, “movie” in the title never carried depth besides commercialism. Keep it up, Warner Animation Group! Continue inspiring future artists to do better!
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Crucchiola, Jordan. “The Lego Movie 2 Trailer Is Here and This World Is Still Real Cute.” Digital image. Vulture. New York Media LLC, 20 Nov 2018. Web. <https://www.vulture.com/2018/11/the-lego-movie-2-the-second-part-trailer.html>.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Web. <http://www.thelegomovie.com/>.