“The Lego Movie 2” rebuilds with heart and growing pains


Paolo Cesar

Leave it to the same team that managed to tear Batman’s foibles apart in “The Lego Batman Movie” to ultimately do the same to everything else. Yes, the movie is ultimately that good.

Spoilers aside, this movie manages to build on the prequel’s satire of modern culture, with an ongoing clash between  two different worlds. The movie also focuses on the central conflict of growing up: maintaining positive attitudes in the face of change.

At this point, it’s no real surprise to say that the Lego team has managed to make its formula of an amazing artstyle, solid writing, and stellar cast a surefire success every time. In that regard, the story and characters have to carry the film forward – which they do in every meaningful way, of course.

The Lego Movie series’ greatest strength has always been combining a no-holds-barred critical satire of a certain subject and/or mythos and its parent companies with meaningful coming-of-age tales relating to the protagonist within the context of that Lego universe and the real world Lego builder. With a significant gap of five years and all of the changes that implies, there’s more than enough material to tear holes into. Pop songs, the Twilight franchise, and more besides get references and clever Easter eggs added in, with some even becoming actual plot points, too!

But none of the comedic beats could have as much impact without an underlying plot – and this movie actually manages to be a reaching out for all ages. Where the first Lego Movie was ultimately a passing of the torch to a new generation from parents to children and sharing a beloved hobby, this one uses a sibling rivalry to explore something just as meaningful, and likely the culmination of all of the movies before: growing up and being able to face the world on your own two feet, especially through stumbling blocks and changing points of view.

Whoever says this movie lacks more of a solid plotline than the original or the spinoffs definitely missed out on a surprisingly uplifting story, and the satire of pop songs, pop culture’s glitz and grit, and (self)references only helps to bring it out with even more heart.

Where the first Lego Movie said ‘Everything is Awesome’, the Second Part now says ‘Maybe Not, but that’s no reason not to Try.’