The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

 

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In a post-apocalyptic parallel universe, Bricksburg is reduced to Apocalypseburg in this 

cynical reimagining of Toy Story for adults.

 

It has to be said, The LEGO Movie was a success. Not only did it rake in $469 million at the global box-office, but an unseemly number of critics rated it very highly. It was commended for its satirical bite, for its wit, its pop-cultural smarts and bold visual panache. In fact, it was cacophonous, violent, juvenile and derivative. Excuse me, but Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker are witty. As for the aesthetic, the boxy, inanimate characters generated by computers – based on the construction toy ‘figurines’ – hardly aspire to an art form. 

  

LEGO Movie 2 The Second Part

 

Pity the poor children. Watching the cynical hand of Hollywood playing around with their figurines must be akin to witnessing a Christmas party through a frosted window. The jokes are for the adults, if one thinks that allusions to other movies is worth the joke. Here, not only are the usual suspects – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn – wheeled out for the sequel, but there are cameos from Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Furthermore, the demolition of the fourth wall and the quantum leaps into parallel worlds is likely to dumbfound any eight-year-old without a PhD in physics. At the public screening I attended, people were walking out (with children in tow).

 

In The Second Part, the Lego world of Bricksburg has been so ravaged by alien invaders that it has been reduced to a post-apocalyptic wasteland renamed Apocalypseburg. Only the EveryBrick Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) has managed to maintain an air of optimism under the circumstances, an attitude he preserves even when his beloved Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) is abducted by aliens and whisked off to a parallel realm. Unbowed, Emmet transforms the ruins of his dream house into a spaceship and gives chase…

 

There is much fighting and destruction along the way, which you can get away with when everything is made up of plastic bricks. But it does get terribly tiresome after five minutes. For variety, there are musical numbers and even more metaphysical plot curves in which we see the figurines, much like the characters in Toy Story, as mere playthings at the mercy of their ‘owners.’ In fact, the human world intrudes here – unanimated – in the form of Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Jadon Sand and Brooklynn Prince. The last-named will come as a surprise to critics, who so reverred the young actress’s performance in The Florida Project (2017). Needless to say, she’s wasted here. Come to think of it, by the time all the devastation and noise finally came to end, I felt pretty wasted, too.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Jadon Sand and Brooklynn Prince; with the voices of: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Richard Ayoade, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Cobie Smulders, Jason Momoa, Margot Robbie, Ike Barinholtz, Ralph Fiennes, Will Forte, Bruce Willis, Noel Fielding, Todd Hansen, Christopher Miller, Chris McKay.

 

Dir Mike Mitchell, Pro Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Roy Lee and Jinko Gotoh, Screenplay Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Pro Des Patrick Marc Hanenberger, Ed Clare Knight, Music Mark Mothersbaugh, Costumes Caroline Cranstoun.

 

Warner Animation Group/Lego System A/S/Rideback/Lord Miller Productions/Vertigo Entertainment-Warner Bros.

106 mins. USA/Denmark/Australia/Norway. 2019. Rel: 8 February 2019. Cert. U.