HOLLYWOOD—“Everything is Awesome,” it was the song that got stuck in everyone’s head during the 2014 release of the animated flick “The Lego Movie.” There was something about that flick that had charm, hilarity and just pure entertainment value for both kids and adults.
Fast-forward to 2019, and we finally have the sequel, after seeing the “The Lego Batman Movie” and “The Lego Ninjago Movie” released in theaters. Emmett (voice of Chris Pratt) is back as well as Lucy (voice of Elizabeth Banks), Batman (voice of Will Arnett), and a host of other characters including Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern and a ton of others.
The narrative in the first was a lot easier to follow: Lord Business was all about controlling everyone, where this time around Emmett is battling General Sweet Mayhem (voice of Stephanie Beatriz), who is kidnapping Emmett’s pals courtesy of Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (voice of Tiffany Haddish). Haddish’s character is a fun one; she’s a shape-shifting alien who is far funnier than threatening as an antagonist. She’s a villain that likes to be bad, but has this egging conscience to do well.
Is Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi as fun of a villain as Lord Business? Not quite, but the character isn’t forgettable and that is a good thing. She lands some classic moments in the film including few hilarious laughs. The relationship between Emmett and Lucy has evolved and our hero is looking to build a dream home. The problem with this sequel is it lacks the fresh take that its predecessor had. There were moments that just delivered pure laughter and were clever. Whereas here, every potential pop culture reference that could make it into the movie, finds a way to make itself into the movie.
Children will laugh no matter what, whereas with adults some of those inside jokes seem a bit force. We know what the writers are intending to do without letting that pun just manifest itself. The character Rex Dangervest (voice of Chris Pratt) seems like another Emmett,, the only difference is he looks different. Yes, the puns from “Jurassic World” and “Fallen Kingdom” are fun, but its Pratt being Pratt and we’re in on the joke so it takes away from the impact.
Dare I saw this, the movie suffers from having too many characters. There can be a thing of too much and with the notion of sequels being bigger is good, but being excessive can take away from the narrative which is the case here. There is too much going on and the narrative seems to move in multiple directions instead of a linear course.
I had the idea where the first flick was going, with this movie I wanted that same nostalgia and didn’t quite get it. Laughs are delivered, and because of that the movie does its job. “The Lego Movie Part 2: The Second Part” while not perfect, is a cut above the rest when you consider the countless sequels in the cinematic universe.