It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.
You’d be forgiven for thinking we’re well past the second lego movie at this point, and while it’s true there have been more than a few, this is the second main Lego series feature film to go through cinemas. Given such a clarification might even be needed, is reflective of how successful the Lego films and other releases have been so far.
So here we are with the Lego Movie 2, following the adventures of everyday construction worker Emmet Brickowski, picking up 5 years following where the first film left him off. Carrying on with the big twist dropped at the end of the first film, the Lego Movie 2 is tasked with the job of telling a story with a more complicated narrative due to this reveal.
This film is quite ambitious in this respect, it tries to tell a multilayered story that works on each level in a logical and almost independent manner. We receive constant reminders that the story of the Lego characters is representative of another story going on behind it in the real world, however I didn’t find that the film is particularly successful in weaving these two narratives together in a cohesive or even entertaining way.
Ultimately it’s difficult to get overly invested in either of the stories going on, but characters and story beats in the real world setting receive far too little screen time and focus to have much of an impact on anything, it’s almost like this aspect of the film was an afterthought, it would have been better served either giving this side of the film more screen time or none at all.
Another issue for this film to contend with is the sheer quality of the first film, being such a well written film, packed with great comedic sensibilities, strong dialogue, and engaging beats it was always a tough act for this sequel to follow. Despite the issues above with how the story in this film is executed, it still manages to deliver a fun adventure, with considerate and important messages about growing up and interacting with friends and family.
There are a fun group of Lego characters on display, and while it doesn’t reach the highs of the first film, it’s not without its funny sequences which will no doubt play well with kids. It also boasts a great final act and a familiar but still entertaining plot twist for the villain which brings it all together.
Kids aren’t likely to read into, or overthink the narrative issues I had with the film, and the messages are simple (and important) enough that there’s a good chance of leaving a good impression on them. By the time the credits roll however, it falls well short of entertaining kids and adults alike.
I’m giving the Lego Movie 2 7 out of 10, there’s entertainment for kids to be found here, and it’s still a fun adventure in a lot of respects. You can see it in cinemas around Australia from 21st March.