Genre: CG Animation
Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Arturo Castro
Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Opening Day: 7 February 2019
Synopsis: 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.
The Lego Movie is one of this reviewer’s favourite films. It is perfect in every way – its stunning animation, lovely voice cast, really clever jokes and charming message about creativity made it a winner. Five years on, along comes a sequel. Is this necessary for an animated movie that worked wonderfully as a standalone film?
You see, we all grow up as time passes by and five years after the commercial and critical hit, this timely sequel explores just that. So we have no qualms about the movie studio greenlighting this project, which, in case you aren’t already aware, will also sell lots and lots of merchandise.
The ridiculously happy and colourful Bricksburg has become a barren desert hellhole, no thanks to the Duplo invaders from outer space. The inhabitants of this post apocalyptic wasteland look like they stepped out from the set of a Mad Max movie. Everyone is dressed in angry and dark coloured outfits, and their faces are grim and brooding.
In this place aptly named Apocalypseburg, no one is happy except for our protagonist Emmet (Chris Pratt). And his partner Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) has to keep reminding the idealistic fellow that EVERYTHING IS NO LONGER AWESOME.
“Let us seek the bitter liquid that provides the only semblance of pleasure left in thee dark times,” she laments when offered coffee.
An evil intergalactic being (the hilariously named General Sweet Mayhem is voiced by Stephanie Beatriz) shows up and kidnaps Lucy and the rest of the supporting cast. They end up coming face to face with Tiffany Haddish’s Queen Watevra Wa Nabi (“Whatever I Wanna Be”, get it?) who reveals that a wedding ceremony is in the works.
Meanwhile, Emmet embarks on a journey to save his friends and crosses paths with the charmingly tough Rex Dangervest (Pratt providing a gruffer voice). This character is a brilliant parody to the actor’s live action movie roles in The Magnificent Seven, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World franchises. These two dudes (one is clearly an alpha, while the other one a wannabe) join forces to save the world from, ahem, an 'Ar-mom-ageddon’.
If you enjoyed the first movie written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, this one will not disappoint either. Helmed by Mike Mitchell (Trolls), the screenplay by Lord and Miller boasts countless laugh a minute gags. Without giving away too much, let’s just say the movie contains jokes poking fun at the DCEU (Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot and Margot Robbie are involved as the voices of Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn) and brilliantly played out time travel concepts. The end credit song, which cleverly works the names of the folks working behind the scenes into the lyrics, is also out of this world. How very meta!
This 107 minute movie will appeal to both kids and adults. The young ones will be mesmerised by the cute characters created by Australian animation and visual effects digital studio Animal Logic, while the older viewers will be sniggering at the witty dialogue.
Another group of target audience would be the brick fanatics with enough disposable income. You can bet they will be sussing out the best deals to collect the different sets featured in the film. Lego would be pleased to can hear the cash registers go ‘ka ching’!
The movie also sees the return of the narcissistic Batman (Will Arnett), the spaceship obsessed Benny (Charlie Day), the cute but war ready Unikitty (Alison Brie) and the bionic robot pirate Metalbeard (Nick Offerman). The Lego universe is as awesome as ever, and this time, there is a heartwarming message to go along with it.
(This sequel may be darker and grittier, but there are still plenty of zany moments and is definitely still as AWESOME as ever!)
Review by John Li