MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ just as awesome as first film

From left, Unikitty, voiced by Allison Brie, Benny, voiced by Charlie Day, President Business, voiced by Will Ferrell, MetalBeard, voiced by Nick Offerman, Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, Lucy/Wyldstyle, voiced by Elizabeth Banks, and Batman, voiced by Will Arnett in a scene from the animated adventure "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part." | Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

3.5 out of 4 stars

(PG)

“The Lego Movie” taught viewers the importance of individuality and the fun in building without the plans included in the box. It also introduced the earworm song “Everything is Awesome” (which carries into “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”) and trend-following protagonist Emmet.

The sequel brings back Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and other main characters while adding new and equally interesting members to the cast. New additions Rex Dangervest (also voiced by Pratt), Queen Whatevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) and General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) add more flair to an already great group, and their own unique twists (dinosaurs and musical numbers, mostly) keep the film from being another hour and 47 minutes of the same.

Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi’s name is a play on one of the main themes of the film: The master builders’ idea from the first film, that someone can build or be whatever they want to be. This is a fantastic idea, obviously, but the conflict comes from real-life characters brother Finn (Jadon Sand) and sister Bianca’s (Brooklynn Prince) different definitions of individuality and how to execute those ideas. Finn’s universe (Apocalypseburg, where Emmet and Lucy exist) is more broody and broken while Bianca’s universe — The Sistar System, where Queen Wa’Nabi resides — is happier, more musical and everything is covered in glitter.

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” picks up 5 years after the first film after the invasion of Duplo characters (Bianca’s toddler-friendly Legos). Most of the attacks on Emmet and company have stopped, but the Justice League is missing after leaving for the Sistar System, and any shiny, new creation built is quickly destroyed.

When Lucy and others are stolen away by General Mayhem for a wedding and arranged marriage (between Wa’Nabi and Batman (Will Arnett), which provides the best musical parts and character development in the film), Emmet must make the treacherous trip up the stairs and into the Sistar System to stop the “Ourmomageddon” threatening both worlds.

Emmet is saved on his impossible journey by Rex Dangervest, and several jokes about Pratt are sewn seamlessly into the dialogue for adults watching with their children. Dangervest’s team of dinosaurs provide comic relief during otherwise heavy parts of the film, and the rescue leads to a turning point for Emmet: He must become a master breaker if he wants to save Lucy.

“Lego Movie 2” is just as funny as the first movie and provides plenty of life lessons for kids with an easy-to-understand plot. The themes are a little more grown-up than the “be yourself and bend the rules” message from the first film (sibling rivalry, complex emotions and hardship) but are handled well with plenty of silliness and songs. Haddish and Pratt are excellent as leading characters, both providing strong voice performances without dominating the film. Each character plays an integral part without feeling thrown in, and the cameos (including Bruce Willis) are stellar. Pink-glittery Batman alone makes it worth a watch.

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