The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part voice cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part movie director: Mike Mitchell
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part movie rating: 2 stars
When a film repeatedly tells a character that he needs to “grow up”, when all he wants to do is keep grooving to some peppy songs, and when he is the only upbeat one in a universe that has gone dour, you can bet where he, we and the film will wind up two hours later.
The Lego Movie 2 doesn’t surprise. Cruising on fans of the Lego building blocks, The Lego Movies have done well by imaginatively traversing the territory between children and adults, toys and our relationship with them, interspersed with enough pop-culture references to keep it cool. The Lego Movie 2 shows the films may be finally running out of steam.
Emmet (Pratt) returns, as does Lucy (Banks), and this time the conflict happens in ‘outer space’ and whether the two worlds of cheerful and grim can meet. Will Arnett is back too and hilarious as a growling ‘Batman’, intent on underlining his heroism. Haddish is Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, her name sounding exactly like who she is, and in her pink and oranges, she is Batman’s contrast.
While the idea is stretched and the film sags to the point of boring, what also drags it down is the constant attempt to establish that what we have on screen are essentially toys, and the drama playing out in their lives is essentially a factor of those playing with them. Sometimes, especially when the Lego blocks are dangled against a wallpaper of stars — standing in the world of toys for outer space — it works, but mostly it is tiresome. The cheerful vs bleak narrative imagined as a conflict between a younger sister and an elder brother in real life (with mother played by Maya Rudolph acting as the referee), fitting into the most cliched gender stereotypes possible, doesn’t help.