‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ is a lot like the first, but that’s not always bad

In 2014, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller shocked everyone with “The Lego Movie.” It wasn’t a movie that many people expected to work, yet it persevered, and proved to be one of the most endearing, heartfelt, and strikingly funny animated movies of recent years. It was greenlit for a sequel almost immediately, and here we are 5 years later with “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” Five years, however, is quite a bit of time, and with some delays and director replacements plaguing the films production, some people (me, specifically) had begun to worry, especially with the much smaller ad-campaign going into this film. However, at the end of the day, while it may not be as great as the original, it still holds up in its own, fun way.

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” picks up pretty much immediately where the original movie ends, and then jumps 5 years into the future. In that time, new aliens have attacked the lego world, and everyone has become much “edgier” and “mature,” and all live in a new “Mad-Max”-esque world called “Apocalypseburg.” Everyone, except Emmet (Chris Pratt), who is still living like everything is fine. However, when aliens attack once more, kidnapping his friends, including Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), Benny (Charlie Day), Unikitty (Alison Brie) and Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), Emmet must travel across the galaxy to rescue them from the alien queen Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) with the help of his new space-faring, raptor training friend, Rex Dangervest (also Chris Pratt).

While Lord and Miller did not return to direct this sequel, they did return to work on the script, and it shows. They bring a wonderful self-aware humor to the film, with quick puns, quips, and other gags that are often times laugh-out loud funny. The movie is well aware it has a ridiculous premise based around a children’s toy, and instead of shying away, once more goes all in on the wackiness of the idea. Also like the first movie, there is a heartfelt and sentimental side to the story. It tells a sweet story, expressing how it’s ok to have fun once and awhile, and how you don’t need to be super serious in everything you do. This message also stands as its own little monument against the constant barrage of incredibly serious, dark movies that often come out these days, and provided for a very nice relief from those kinds of films.

This movie is also quite musical, which one should know going into it. However, every time there is a break for a song, it usually flows quite well, serves a thematic purpose, and is pretty funny, too. I tend to be quite wary of random song breaks, but “The Lego Movie 2” really pulls them off quite well (including my personal favorite, a song that plays during the credits, that only exists to exclaim how cool watching the credits is).

In terms of performances, each of those are quite solid as well. Chris Pratt is adorable as Emmet, and also hilarious as Rex Dangervest, a walking parody of all the parts he has played. Elizabeth Banks brings real life to Lucy, and the murderers row of character actors and cameo performances (Charlie Day, Nick Offerman, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, and many more, including cameos from Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill) provide a nice layer of lovable and comical supporting characters.

However, for all the praise I can throw at this movie, something about it just felt off. That feeling went away as the movie continued, but towards the beginning, it felt hard to really get into, and to be honest I’m not really sure why. My best guess is that it does feel quite similar to the first one in a lot of ways, and that’s not bad, but watching the first few minutes felt like seeing something I’d seen before. This feeling didn’t ruin the movie for me, as I truly had a blast seeing this film. But some gut feeling kept me from loving this movie unconditionally.

My strange movie viewing instincts aside, go see “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.” It’s adorable; it’s heartwarming; it’s funny; it’s an all around good time. While it may feel similar to its predecessor, its predecessor is a stellar movie. “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is a great time for all ages, and a wonderful entry in this strange franchise.