- Warning: There are minor spoilers ahead for “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.”
- INSIDER viewed the movie ahead of its Friday, February 8 release with a small group of families, fans, and press.
- It’s clear this is going to be pretty popular at theatres with kids, Batfans, and very lucrative for Lego at toy stores.
- The sequel isn’t only a great outing for families, but for siblings as well.
Five years after the release of the original Lego movie, Wyldstyle, Emmet, and Batman are back in a long-awaited sequel and everything is still pretty awesome.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” picks up from the end of the last movie when Will Ferrell’s father character tells his son that he has to start sharing his Lego collection and playing with his younger sister. As a result, Emmet and his friends are confronted by some members of Lego’s younger Duplo line of toys. Wyldstyle, Batman, Unikitty, and more get captured away by a new, mysterious spaceship and it’s once again up to Emmet to save his friends.
While the film’s plot seems pretty clear cut from the trailers, that’s really only the beginning of a much larger story rooted in forgotten toys and the relationship between brothers and sisters growing up together that anyone with a sibling can relate to. It all makes for a sequel that’s just as enjoyable and endearing as the original.
What you should know: The original directors are back, but this time they’re in the writing chair. The main cast is back, too, with a few new faces.
Nearly two months after the release of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” the writing/directing duo of Chris Miller and Phil Lord return with another hit. Unlike the first film, they’re not in the directing chair, but the two did write the story along with Matthew Fogel and Raphael Bob-Waksberg (“Bojack Horseman” creator). Directing this time is Mike Mitchell (“Shrek Ever After,” “Trolls”).
They’re joined by the returning cast of Elizabeth Banks (Wyldstyle), Will Arnett (Batman), Charlie Day (Benny), Alison Brie (Unikitty), and Nick Offerman (MetalBeard). Chris Pratt reprises his role as the naive, but well-intentioned Emmet, while also playing a second humorous role. Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) join the cast and there are a few fun cameos from some other superheroes, too, we’ll get to below.
Do I need to watch the first movie: No, but it may be helpful so you have some backstory
If you don’t catch up, here’s the boilerplate for what you need to know: 2014’s “The LEGO Movie” partially takes place in both the real world and in an animated one. The end of the first movie reveals that the entire fictional movie you were watching was nothing more than the playtime adventures of a young child. In a way, it’s like “Toy Story,” but in real life.
What’s Hot: Genuine laughs for kids and adults, cameos, and the story itself
Though pushed back from a May 2018 release date, Warner Bros. Animation doesn’t suffer from sequel slump. Miller and Lord return to help write a clever movie that captures the essence of what it’s like growing up with – and having to share your toys with – a younger sibling. That’s something many people can relate to and one reason why I think this is going to be such a hit with audiences both young and old.
The writing team gives a very authentic feel of what it’s like to be a younger sibling who just wants to join in on playing with an older brother or sister they look up to and the inevitable bickering which may ensue. Those arguments and disagreements are visualized through the action seen on screen.
When you’re not getting sentimental and nostalgic over past sibling rivalries, you’ll probably be too busy laughing at Emmet, Batman, and the film’s many cameos. There are a lot of big laughs. Some of it will go over kids’ heads, including jokes at the expense of the uncertain state of Warner Bros.’ live-action DC movies. But the humour never gets crass or relies on easy flatulence gags, which became a bit insufferable in DC’s “Teen Titans Go!” animated flick last year.
In addition to lead character Emmet, Pratt plays a second character named Rex Dangervest who older kids and adults will instantly recognise is a parody mashup of some of his previous roles in “Jurassic World” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” along with his rumoured part in the next “Indiana Jones” film. He’ll become an instant fan-favourite along with his many raptor friends and some tiny little star Lego pieces that have the cutest faces.
A few big stars pop up in the film to play themselves briefly and there’s a little Lego Ruth Bader Ginsberg, which adults should chuckle over. If you loved “Aquaman,” Jason Momoa shows up to drop some of his superhero taglines alongside Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill who return once again as Superman and Green Lantern, respectively.
If you’ve missed seeing a Batman worthy of the name on the big screen, there’s also a mini Batmovie housed within the sequel. A highlight of the film is watching Will Arnett’s super serious little firecracker of a Dark Knight getting taken out of his dark, brooding element and singing a song about the many incarnations of the superhero from Adam West to Ben Affleck. It will probably make you wonder when, not if, we are getting a sequel to the standalone “LEGO Batman Movie” or a “Justice League” Lego spinoff.
Just like in the first film, keep your eyes searching in the background and crowds. There are so many details packed into this world. You’re rewarded if you try to read all of the film’s signs and scrolling text with some humorous messages.
What’s Not: Parents should expect to purchase nearly every big LEGO set they see in the film
“Everything is awesome”… until kids are asking their parents for many of the Lego sets they see in the sequel. Without getting too cynical, it certainly felt like the sequel took the opportunity to highlight several very large “must-have” Lego sets for kids that will be available for purchase. Lego already has 20 different sets waiting for you to buy after seeing the film. One set, based on a scene early in the film, will cost you $US300.
Real-life Lego sets aside, there’s not much to dislike about this sequel unless you don’t like fun or start trying to nitpick a few brief scenes that exist out of the normal flow of the film. There’s an abrupt time jump early on, but it’s best to check some logic at the door in exchange for a good time. Honestly, the worst thing about this film is trying to write out its full name.
Overall: Bring the family and Batman fans to see this one
I never thought there would be such a thing as the perfect movie to watch with your sibling, but that’s “The LEGO Movie 2.” While nothing may top the big reveal of the first film where we learn the entire plot is part of a child’s playtime, the writers cleverly weave that knowledge into the narrative of the sequel to make for a strong, satisfying follow-up that should be a bit hit.
You’re going to leave the theatre having laughed a lot and with at least one song stuck in your head. Bring the little ones out for this, and if you have the opportunity, have a sibling tag along as well.
“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” is in theatres Friday, February 8 with early showings Saturday, January 27 in select cities. Watch a trailer for the movie below.
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