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The LEGO® Movie 2 
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(Jun 03, 2019)
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The much-anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed, global box office phenomenon that started it all, The LEGO® Movie 2, reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in an all new action-packed adventure to save their beloved city. It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. The battle to defeat them and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a strange galaxy where everything is a musical. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are.
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A story about growing up (and then not growing up), courage, reverse psychology on Batman to make him fall in love with a Lego blob and raptors that adore tennis. Yes, the human elements to the film are predictably spoon-fed during the final act, but it's the journey in getting there that makes this adventure worth watching. The returning characters, ranging from sweet innocent Emmet to the easily enraged princess Unikitty, are still as memorable as ever. A partial problem with this is that they still re-use the same jokes from the original, but with minimal effect. Benny shouting "spaceship" for the hundredth time is not nearly as funny when shouting it for the tenth time. Fortunately the new characters, including the shape-shifting Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi and the testosterone fuelled Rex, bring forth some new visual delights that differentiate this sequel from the original. The imaginative story (packed with surprising twists) is split between two perspectives, the kidnapped master builders who must be prepared for a marriage ceremony, and Emmet who encounters Rex and learns to become a tough "master breaker". The constant shifting does break the pacing, with the second act being stationary at various points, but does allow adequate screen time for all characters.
Lord and Miller's screenplay was the reigning champion, with so many random jokes that simply made me laugh out loud. A Lego version of Bruce Willis crawling through an air duct? Yeah, I cracked up big time. The balance between child-friendly visual humour and adult pop culture references makes this animation accessible to everyone. The animation, much like with the other Lego films, remains creative and beautiful to admire. The live-action aspects interject the imaginary world frequently, it's an overused technique that doesn't always work. It is used to provide the moral of the story, that everyone can happily play/work together, but does so in a heavy handed way. Far too cheesy, although Rudolph was a welcomed addition and seemed to love stepping on Lego bricks.
However, the biggest criticism I can give is the excessive use of musical numbers. So, "Everything is Awesome" was nominated for several awards. It was an annoying song that worked as a mimicry of disposable pop records. Catchy and clever. This sequel includes various songs where characters will burst into original songs in an attempt to annoy you, and yes they did irritate me for all the wrong reasons. Lyrically impressive, but wholly unnecessary. It just doesn't fit well with the rest of the film, as if they couldn't think of a better method to explain character motives. Still, "Everything is Awesome" reigns supreme. As a sequel, it doesn't do anything new to make this feel fresh. However, it snaps into place with its vivid colours, punchy lines and visual comedy that is pure joy for everyone.
Okay, so you might argue that I’m not the target audience, however as an ardent Lego enthusiast in my youth there’s surely a nostalgia market there, and of course the world’s cinema-going audience has undoubtedly increased thousand-fold over the past three years. This said, my ten-year-old-son was more than happy with the experience, although this may have been partly to do with the VIP experience to which he was being treated for his birthday...!
Anyway, back to the movie: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are once again on screenwriting duties, and if you enjoyed the ceaseless barrage of pop-culture riffs and endless sight gags then you’ll be in clover. You may recall that the preceding Lego movie ended on a note of existential anxiety. The kid in the real-world basement is informed that from now on his younger sister will be playing and the creatures of the Lego universe were horrified by the appearance of Duplo: great big blocks with new pinky-cutesy colours. The world of ‘proper’ Lego is threatened.
Eventually conquering our plastic heroes, the ‘Duplo-ers’ reveal their cockamamie plan – one I can’t really be bothered to detail here. Anyway, we all know that a movie like this is only really the sum of its references, which include: 2001 A Space Odyssey, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and The Matrix. After these have come and gone though, it all becomes rather tiresome. Mind you, I wouldn’t bet against a number three; there’s clearly plenty of milk left in this cash cow.