With the Easter holidays fast approaching, the cinemas are now becoming flooded with family movies. While technically Disney is in the lead with both Dumbo and Aladdin hitting screens pretty soon, the first family blockbuster to cross off the list is The Lego Movie 2!
Picking up exactly where the first movie left off, The Lego Movie 2 sees Bricksburg transformed into Apocalypseburg, having been ravaged and destroyed by aliens and society reduced to this gritty dystopia a la Fury Road. Despite the rest of his friends adapting to the times, Emmett (Chris Pratt) continues to try and create unity through togetherness, only to have his attempts continually dashed as Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) opts for brooding rather than building. But when aliens kidnap Lucy, Batman, and the rest of his friends, Emmett must step up, grow up, and travel across the universe to save Lucy and stop Armamageddon.
This is a delightful sequel with the first and foremost pro being that it retains the perfect amount of jokes, levity, and spirit of the first movie without obviously trying to outdo it. The Lego Movie had the novelty factor going for it, but now with two other Lego movies (Lego Batman Movie and Lego Ninjago Movie) under Warner Bros.’ belt, that novelty has well worn off. But The Lego Movie 2 recaptures that gorgeous, fun, and innocent spirit of the first movie, making it just as endearing, sweet, and memorable.
Having said that, the movie does outshine its predecessor in a couple of ways. Firstly, the story. The central narrative is the classic hero’s quest to save the world, with Emmett going boldly where no one’s gone before to save his friends and stop the end of the world. However, things start to get a little more complicated and ‘grown-up’ as a second story about time travel enters the mix and Lucy turns around from being the damsel in distress to the one who saves the day. There is brilliant continuity from the first movie regarding Lucy’s insecure back-story and, as the story beyond the Lego centres on the frictional relationship between a brother and sister as they grow up, the movie explores some really strong themes about changing identities, tastes, and relationships.
Secondly, this film is about all of the pop culture references! Cramming in every teen, tween, and young adult social attitude and pop culture trend from 2014 to now. We’ve got Mad Max, we’ve got Jurassic World, there’s Twilight, there’s DC vs. Marvel gags, there’s musical numbers, and everything in between! Quite literally there is something for everyone in this film.
The animation is as stunning as the original with the ante being upped with the addition of new Lego animation a la DC Super Girls and Lego Girlz, which very nicely depicts just how much times has passed in the movie as well as real life, highlighting the film’s message about change and what it means to grow up: you never have to stop loving Lego though!
Beginning the cinematic holiday season with The Lego Movie 2 is probably the best way to start (aside from opting for Captain Marvel), as the film proves to be a truly great sequel that outshines its predecessor for a whole bunch of different reasons than just the novelty factor.