I remember a couple of years ago when the marketing came out for the first Lego Movie, it was all in your face, trying to get you or you and friends or you and family members to get to the theaters to see this zany animated film that throw jokes at you a mile a minute. It had a hugely successful box office weekend and now we have the inevitable sequel. He’s the grub though, I didn’t see much marketing for THE LEGO MOVIE 2 – THE SECOND PART. I’ve seen one trailer or two, but the online and TV spot marketing has been ‘mum’s the word’ for awhile and I had no idea what was going on? Did Warner Bros. try and save money, knowing people would go see this on the name alone? Or worse, did they not have any confidence in the film? I have a feeling it might be the latter. It’s not to say this sequel is bad, however the title is kind of ironic, because the second part of the film is really entertaining and totally sticks the landing. But the first part of the film, the first half if you will, was totally not awesome.
I have a feeling that Warner Bros did not want to do this film without Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, so instead of waiting on them to complete Solo: A Star Wars Story and their involvement in Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse they downgraded their status to the film as just the writers of this sequel, giving directing duties to the guy that directed…Trolls…and Shred Forever After….and, and….Alving and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked… To be frank though, if Warner Bros. had waiting for Lord and Miller for all the duties, they might still be waiting, and you know the Hollywood system, time is money. So they made this compromise. Well, we know how Solo turned out (Lord and Miller were fired in case you really live under a rock) and they really then honed in on Spider-Verse (which is winning so many awards Lord and Miller are laughing in Kathleen Kennedy’s face right now). So with all that, they still managed to write the script to this movie?
I bet the differ. I think maybe the director had a hand in it…especially the first part of the film. I have a feeling the latter half of the movie was all Lord and Miller because it stuck the landing really well. I don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but this movie feels like two different films. The first part, about 10 minutes in, I thought to myself, “oh shit…” The jokes were flying a mile a minute, but none of them were sticking, and it gave no time for the room to breathe. The film for some reason felt like it had to start off right where the last one ended. Which I highly disagree with. The movie should’ve really started 20 minutes into the movie that we got. With the first 20 minutes minutes being chopped up into tiny little bits, that would’ve made more sense as flashbacks near the end reveals. It’s like nobody knew what to do with the film, so they just started writing, thinking they’d find their groove.
And the film eventually does. Especially after a certain Bruce Willis/Vent/Die Harde joke. I’m not going to explain the plot of the movie at all to keep from ruining the surprises. All I’ll say is that it starts off right where the first one left off, and the Lego city that Emmett and WyldStyle eventually turns into an apocalyptic wasteland. Also, remember the first film’s ending? Well, this ending is very, very similar, but it works so well and lands perfectly, that I didn’t really mind the whole repetitiveness and predictability of it all. Oh, and if you thought “Everything is Awesome” was an annoying yet delightful fucking song, there is a song in this that tells that song to holds its beer.
Actually, this films benefits a little from the other one in the song department. The first films only had “Everything is Awesome” going for it. This sequel has about 4 songs (one though a play on Everything Is Awesome but just replacing Is with Not) and they were all quite delightful, with one of them involving Will Arnett’s Batman (steals the whole show yet again) and the ‘bad guy’ Tiffany Haddish, I think it was called “I Don’t Date Gotham City Guys?” I don’t know, something like that, I’m too lazy right now to look up what the song was actually called. Just know that I liked the songs in this one more than the only one song in the first film.
The animation is top notch and it is a well made film, but it by no means even gets to the height of what the first film achieved, and it is all because of the pesky, pesky, first half of the film. It could be that I’m insane and it just didn’t click with me for some reason, but I’ve just been reading other critic reviews and they happen to feel the same way. If they do happen to make a third I really hope that Miller & Lord come back to direct, and they put their all into writing the screenplay. Unfortunately, like a lot of sequels, this felt like a rushed product, and while it achieve some heights of awesome, it feels like a tiny bit of a disappointment. Still recommending it, especially as a kids film, but man, next time, focus more on everything to be awesome, and not just kind of awesome, some of the time.