LEGO Sequel Doesn't Stack Up to Original

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LEGO Movie 2: Second Part

Given the amazing success of THE LEGO MOVIE, it was inevitable that there was going to be a sequel, starring the same characters. And sure enough, here comes THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART, with Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett returning to their roles of Emmet, Wyldstyle, and Batman.

There's just one problem. After seeing the brilliant end of the first movie, the rabbit is out of the hat. We know what's going on. The magic is gone. It's like trying to do a sequel to THE SIXTH SENSE and trying to forget the whole time that Bruce Willis is a ghost. (LEGO Bruce Willis appears in this film, so that's not entirely a non sequitur analogy.) Where we were originally left in the dark as to what "Kragle" was, we now immediately work on the (less-than-inspired) translations of the "Sis Star System" and the "Bin of Sto-Raj."

THE LEGO MOVIE PART 2: THE SECOND PART also doesn't seem sure if it wants to go full-blown TOY STORY or not, with the minifigs sometimes frozen in place, and sometimes able to move on their own (in the so-called real world element of the film). And whereas the first film was a metaphor that revealed itself through viewing, the second is a metaphor that reveals itself by telling us outright, in the narrative, that it's a metaphor.

The main storyline involves cute LEGO Duplos and LEGO Friends characters invading the world of our heroes, leaving them living in a post-apocalyptic landscape for five years before finally abducting some of the characters -- including Batman and Wyldstyle -- to carry them off to the alien Sis Star system. Emmet refuses to let his friends go and builds a spaceship to follow after them and rescue them, meeting up with Rex Dangervest (also Pratt) who teaches Emmet how to harden his heart and become a tough guy.

But all is not as it seems (which, actually, is pretty obvious) and saving his friends might just bring about the end of everything -- or, in this case, having real-world mom (Maya Rudolph) ordering that all the LEGO bricks be put into storage if brother and sister insist on fighting over the LEGOs, which is what the film is really about.

There's time-travel involved here, and some rather inscrutable rules as to when a minifigure can force itself to move on its own. The younger viewers who still love the original film will more than likely still enjoy this sequel, but the more savvy and older audiences aren't going to get quite the enjoyment from this one.

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART is available everywhere on Blu-ray and Digital, May 7, 2019.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0