The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

“Nothing in this place makes sense.”

Like a massive model set built by freehand instead of reading the careful and precise directions included with the packaging, the mostly mindless and redundantly titled The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part relies on an overabundance of poor pop culture references carelessly balled up and thrown into an otherwise empty animated movie. I still maintain that 2014’s The Lego Movie is an incredibly overrated film, and for reference, it’s also vastly superior to this scatterbrained sequel. The Lego Movie 2 is just so dumb and loud and excessively unoriginal. And we wonder why hyperactive kids have no attention span whatsoever nowadays. The visual sensory overload has become a sensory deprivation to the real world.

Pretty much picking up right where The Lego Movie came to a surprising close, The Second Part essentially has no introduction whatsoever, foolishly parachuting in without the proper gear or a marked off landing zone. There’s no cordial greeting, no polite handshake, hardly a look or a nod. Instead the film begins in a catastrophic state of pure and utter bombast, pitting the world of Legos against the invading Duplos blocks. Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) vows to save the city of Bricksburg once again, greatly helped by Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (Will Arnett). This time his positive outlook can’t defeat the undaunted and invasive Duplos blocks though. Bricksburg becomes Apocalypseburg.

Where this sequel most sharply departs from its predecessor is in the larger presence of the humans creating the blocky world. The original revealed that Lord Business (Will Ferrell) was in fact a dad perfecting a hobby, only to have his son come in and impart a bit of imagination. In The Second Part, there are no rules written in stone to be found, and the movie greatly suffers as a result. The film’s an absolute free for all, a messy battle royal of half-baked ideas and real-world implications fighting tooth and nail to be the main component of a picture that’s never fully realized. It’s somewhat baffling that a story which preaches sharing is caring doesn’t take the time to exercise its own golden rule. Where’s Lord Business when you need him?

There’s nothing negative to say about the inventive animation these Lego movies continue to perfect. They are, at times, something to truly visually behold. And yet the story that guides The Second Part feels lazy and lacking in the creative spirit of the building blocks the entire franchise has exploited in the first place. The film references and boringly satirizes the likes of Mad Max: Fury RoadBlade Runner, Planet of the Apes and even more, all without establishing or developing a voice of its own creation. The Lego Movie: The Second Part swarms and chases you like a colony of bees, filling the sheer and utter chaos with a constant buzzing hum. It’s too bad that there’s no memorable sting amidst all of the disarray. How much longer can this franchise pretend to be an inferior version of Toy Story? Hopefully the Magic 8-Ball answer to that question is, “Outlook not so good.”

“Everything was awesome.”

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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