The Lego Movie was one of 2014’s most unlikely hits. Based on the hit construction toys, nobody could have ever expected it would be as funny or enjoyable as it really was. Continuing the story five years on, the sequel is a gorgeously designed film with hilarious characters and an emotional undertone.
The first film was such an unexpected joy. Slapstick humour, brilliant characters and a heartfelt message meant a sequel and spin-offs were inevitable. Thankfully, other than the misjudged Lego Ninjago movie, they were all just as fantastic. This fourth instalment in the Lego franchise has maintained the aesthetic style, but also the massive heart that made the first film so loved.
Chris Pratt returns as Emmet, the everyday construction worker in the Lego world, but Pratt also voices new character Rex Dangervest, a hilarious action star character which amalgamates Pratt’s other roles in films like Guardians of The Galaxy, The Magnificent Seven and Jurassic World. A brilliant touch are the Velociraptor workers that Rex has, who speak to each other in roars that mean things like “I hate Mondays” and “what’s the Wi-Fi password”.
Most of the original cast also return, including Elizabeth Banks as Lucy, Charlie Day as Benny the Spaceman, Alison Brie as Princess Unikitty, Nick Offerman as Captain Metalbeard, Will Ferrell as Lord Business and The Man Upstairs, and everyone’s favourite, Will Arnett as Batman. I admit, the characters are all so ridiculous, and yet together they all work so well.
So many extra stars lend their voices to one or two lines, and these include Margot Robbie and Jason Momoa reprising their DC character roles of Harley Quinn and Aquaman respectively, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern, Noel Fielding as a glittery Vampire, Richard Ayoade as Ice Cream Cone, and Bruce Willis (BRUCE WILLIS!) hilariously parodying himself as a Lego minifigure. The producers clearly knew that it would take a monumental voice cast to make this bizarre affair work, and boy does it.
The narrative opens with the Lego world being attacked by new creatures, made from Duplo and Lego Friends, the Lego offshoot aimed primarily at girls. We soon discover that these are owned by the real-life sister of the child who owns the Lego world. The movie then sets in motion a chain of events of how the Lego characters are all stolen by this new world, and the struggle that will ensue to save them. I must say that the story makes a whole lot more sense when it isn’t explained by me, and it was a compelling narrative that brilliantly paralleled the real-life events, and the events within the Lego world.
The script is sharp and snappy, with jokes flying left, right and centre. There are loads of hilarious Pop-Culture references of everything from Doctor Who and Bill and Ted, to whole sequences joking about 2001: A Space Odyssey, Back to The Future and Die Hard. Additionally, all the space scenes use a wipe transition which feels very reminiscent of Star Wars. A lot of the dialogue, similar to Deadpool, is very on the nose and pointing fun at the laziness of itself. These include things like the characters using a CPD, or Convenient Plot Device, to help themselves out of a situation, a shape-shifting character being called Queen Watevera Wa-Nabi, and the space scenes in the sister’s room being called the ‘Systar System’.
I must admit that there is still a teeny-tiny part of me that feels uncomfortable about the existence of Lego films. Lego is one of the most expensive toys available, and to make it so actively exciting for so many kids feels a little bit irresponsible. However, I too was completely won over by the charm of the film, so these issues didn’t rear their head while I was actually watching it.
Overall, The Lego Movie 2 is another absolute joy of a film. It’s very childish, and completely daft, and yet the emotional heart of the film is really what drives it. The real-world relationship of the brother and sister really hit me with an emotional punch, and the comedy was even more effective. Go watch it, and spent 2 hours having the time of your younger-self’s life.