After a five-year development period, and with numerous changes at the top of the creative team during that time, it’s fair to say that we here at STARBURST Towers were concerned that this film could be heading into ‘difficult second movie’ territory.
Luckily, our fears are unfounded, and the years that have passed since the last outing of the crew from Bricksburg has allowed the world, both in and out of the movie to move on. It’s also mercifully allowed Finn, our real human brick controller and his sister Bianca, glimpsed as a toddler in the first movie, to grow up. It feels as if the movie has given both of them more to do this time round and convincing, heart-felt performances are crafted by both Jadon Sand and Brooklynn Prince. The passing of time also means that Bianca has all but left her Duplo behind, meaning the large bricks, portrayed as monstrous horrors from another world, have been all but abandoned as a character concept by the end of the first reel.
It’s difficult to divulge much about the plot without revealing massive spoilers, but we can report that returning lead mini-fig Emmet (Chris Pratt) is going on a journey, both literal and philosophical, to save his friends and himself from the ‘Systar System’ and the evil machinations of anthropomorphic ‘shape-shifter’ Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, being played with obvious relish by Tiffany Haddish. The chief brick-builders behind the scenes have noted the popularity of Will Arnett’s Batman, who again takes a lead role here - a fact which is lightly made fun of in at least two scenes. Younger viewers will delight in the technicolour plot and fun music - one of the tunes is actually called Catchy Song, whilst adults will be playing ‘spot the meta reference’ throughout.
The fun elements from the last film, of part numbers floating onto screen as models are built during chase sequences and of entire kits being shown for mere seconds are all present and correct - the models shown in one sequence when new character Rex Dangervest explains his backstory are astounding, and bound to lead to cries of ‘where can I get that?’ (we’re pining for Doc Brown’s DeLorean already). Where we would criticise, if we must, is that at times everything felt slightly too well-constructed, too clean, and on occasion, a fraction too self-indulgent.
Those small niggles aside, this is surreal, genre-defying genius, with the most astonishing and beautiful animation. It will delight the whole family, and prove, despite the brutal realities of life that can accost you, that with co-operation and a positive attitude, everything can, once again, be awesome.
THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART / CERT: U / DIRECTOR: MIKE MITCHELL / SCREENPLAY: PHIL LORD, CHRISTOPHER MILLER / STARRING: CHRIS PRATT, ELIZABETH BANKS, WILL ARNETT, TIFFANY HADDISH, STEPHANIE BEATRIZ / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 8TH
Expected Rating: 7 out of 10