Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part

One Brick Pony

The Lego Movie 2 -
The Second Part

2019 Denmark/Norway/Australia/USA
Directed by Mike Mitchell
UK cinema release print.

Well... here Lego again.

The Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part is a sequel to both The Lego Movie (reviewed here) and The Lego Batman Movie (reviewed here) and I have to admit my expectations were pretty high because I thought both those movies were really good. Alas, this new movie comes off as just another brick in the box office wall and gives us a somewhat dull and lifeless sequel, it has to be said.

Now, I realise I’m not really the target audience but the first film was able to deliver a mostly solid storyline with a lot of stuff going on and a humorous script that worked at both a child and adult level. The Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part doesn’t quite perform the same kind of entertainment, I thought. While there are certainly the odd throwaway sexual innuendos tossed into the script, this feels much more like a kids movie than a family film and, I have to say, I did find myself clock watching on this one, to a certain extent.

Now the film does a lot of good stuff and, don’t get me wrong, there’s still some nice surprises in here. It helps that you have a group of characters who are genuinely likeable, reprised from the original installment. And, sure, it’s got a certain amount of wit and charm along with some inventive ideas but... I dunno, it just doesn’t seem as prolifically inventive as the first part and although there was undoubtedly a lot going on in each frame... it really didn’t feel like it was really worth studying too closely by going back for a second watch. Also, it’s interesting that no characters from Star Wars or Marvel Comics made it into the movie this time around. I think the Lego Marvel characters were absent from the first film too due to some rights issues with Disney but at least the Marvel thing is discussed on screen here.

There are a couple of things here though which were real problems for the way I viewed the movie and one of them has to be the amount of songs in here. It’s not quite a musical but it is close and there are some cute but ‘not so clever as they think they are’ songs in this one featuring as breaks in a narrative which really doesn’t need them. I grew up in the 1970s watching various comedy sketch shows of the period which insisted adding in atrocious comedy songs each week and what that taught me was that, no matter how witty the people writing the lyrics on those things thought they were, they just weren’t funny and dragged to the point that you really didn’t want to watch any more of the show.... and I got that feeling here too. The songs just weren’t that good... some of the lyrics were okay but, yeah, the lyrics didn’t get 'stuck in my head', even as they’d promised they would and I was basically just wishing for them to end for the most part.

The other problem I had with this film was with something which was set up in the first movie but which, thankfully, The Lego Batman Movie safely ignored... having characters cross over into the real world. Like a Toy Story movie, a few of the characters manage to ‘get out’ of their own reality and there were a number of scenes where the narrative kept jumping back to the real world with Will Ferrell and Maya Rudolph. The original sequence in the first movie was a real pace killer and, similar moments in this film provide exactly the same problems. I could really have done without this stuff.

Mark Mothersbaugh returns as the score composer on this and he does a nice job once again (asides from the songs, which would have been better absent). I might grab the score album at some point but I can live without it for now.

A big cheer goes to the scriptwriters for starting straight up from the ‘Duplo’ ending of the first movie  but, continuing on with a plot that seems half stolen from Zathura (which I’ve not seen but even I could see the similarities) and a general, vague feeling that nobody really had anything clever to add in to the somewhat ‘by the numbers’ script kind of takes the wind out of the sails of the opening set up, in all honesty.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about this one. I don’t think this will be going on anybody’s top ten lists and I just felt the film was a bit lifeless in comparison to the previous two. The Lego Movie 2 - The Second Part is in cinemas now and if you’ve got kids who like Lego then you can’t really go wrong with taking them to see this one... just don’t expect too much out of it when you’ve got your ‘adult head’ on. Everything’s not awesome in this one.

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