Hello, Spongey here.
It’s finally for our first general review of 2019. Not the first 2019 movie I am seeing overall, as I saw the majesty of Norm of the North 2 last month. But now I get to start jumping into 2019 to see what it has to offer.
We begin with the start of a new year in animation. Remember when the first animated movie of the year was usually bad? That stigma seems to be gone thanks to LEGO Batman and Early Man to a lesser extent.
And speaking of LEGO, it starts us off again. After some spin offs, we finally have a direct sequel to that 2014 gem. I’ve talked about the first one enough, so you know it’s highly creative and well written in pretty much every way.
Ever since then people have been wanting a direct sequel but it’s been a bumpy road getting there. They’ve changed writers and directors here and there so some have been worried it wouldn’t quite have that same magic in a way.
This time our director is Mike Mitchell, who we’ve talked about before when it comes to stuff like Chipwrecked and Surviving Christmas. At least he has the less bad Trolls and the classic Sky High.
Phill Lord & Chris Miller return to write, which gives me some hope. Now that we finally have our direct sequel, it is another fun and surprisingly interesting time? Let’s see.
This, is The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
5 Years after the events of the first movie, he Duplo invaders have turned Bricksburg into a post-apocalyptic wasteland named Apocalypseburg, and continue to invade periodically. Eventually someone kidnaps Lucy and the others, leaving Emmet to save them.
I’ve seen mostly two reactions to this sequel: Either people love it, either as much as the first or just a tad less or they find it merely good, as a notable step down from the first. I went in expecting the latter…and ended up being on the former side.
Oh, it I lesser than the first but only in the way that most sequels like this tend to be. But it’s still a great effort that is highly enjoyable. I actually don’t have too many issues with It. I mostly just found the first movie to be a bit tighter and funnier, with more varied locations.
I did think one character’s deal could have had a more complete wrap up, it got a bit swallowed up by everything else going in the third act. But the wrap up still works pretty well otherwise.
It does basically use the same template of the first movie, as an existence they were used to is disrupted and they had to go on an adventure. Things build up to an insane 3rd act that is incredibly emotional and deeper than you’d expect.
I personally didn’t mind that, as they’re just sticking with what works. Plus, it still has all the effort and heart of the first movie and it’s not a total soulless rehash. It works in all the same ways the first movie did, meaning I don’t have a ton to add to what I said about the first one.
While it slightly less funny, it’s still really funny. There’s plenty of funny moments, mostly coming from poking fun at tropes in stories kids come up with (at one point they use a CPD which stands for Convenient Plot Device. Nice) as well as background gags.
But I found that the funniest jokes come from the characters and their actors. People will Will Arnett and Elizabeth Banks are still really fun in their roles, and Tiffany Haddish works as the totally not evil villain.
But Chris Pratt really steals the show here, even more so. The story forces him to learn some new lesson, leading to even more great jokes that come from him trying to toughen up. But then you have his counterpart Rex, who is a hilarious parody of other Chris Pratt characters.
The animation is still on point with how it makes it look like stop motion, and after the spin offs it’s nice to see more attention to detail while those cheated a bit with the little things like water. They especially have fun with Tiffany Haddish’s shapeshifting.
Oh and once an animated movie by Warner Bros is randomly a musical. Thankfully, the few songs are really good to the Catchy Song to my personal favorite, Tiffany Haddish’s “Not Evil”. Yeah, no surprise that one’s my favorite.
I was really enjoying this movie for most of it but it’s the third act where it shines the most. It goes on for a bit too long but otherwise this is where the movie’s theme becomes more clear and they go into in a really nice way.
Just like in the first, it really hit me and the themes of growing up (no spoilers how they go into it, just saying they do it) and how it plays into both worlds. Speaking of, the first movie was more ambiguous with how certain things work, while that goes a bit more out the window here with how things play out.
That didn’t bug me since there’s still some ways you can spin it to make sense also it’s a movie about toys, don’t think too hard about it.
Overall, The LEGO Movie keeps up the charm of the first movie with the same solid humor, likable cast of characters voiced by actors giving great performances, creative animation, and big heart with themes a lot of people will releate to.
It’s a step down but a step up from the spin offs. As much as I really like LEGO Batman (which is confirmed to take place between the two main entries, by the way), this was better constructed to me, personally.
It’s another wonderful adventure that celebrates the creativity of LEGOs, while adding some extra fun bits and some neat themes. If you enjoyed any of the other movies on any level, this is a must see.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did, being a sequel and all. Thankfully, everything is still awesome. This confirms that Mike Mitchell can be a really good director, if the script gives him more to work with.
So yeah, a bit less but still awesome overall.
Yeah, I expected a light Very Good at best too, but Lord & Miller continue to surprise me. They’ve proven to only being really creative writers, but can also work well with others and let them shine as well.
I still enjoy Solo well enough but do I wish we got to see their version. (#ReleaseTheLord&MillerCut). Anyway, see you in two weeks for the followup to my other favorite animated film of 2014!