Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Everything Remains Awesome With ‘The Lego Movie 2′

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” may not be as innovative in style as its 2014 predecessor but still captivates its audience in its own right thanks to its script, music and animation.

The original “Lego Movie” managed to draw audiences in with its original format, using an animation style that perfectly captures the toys while blurring the Lego world with the “real” human world in an all-encompassing plot.

The new story picks up right after the prequel’s ending, beginning with a conflict between two siblings — Finn, voiced by Jadon Sand, and Bianca, voiced by Brooklyn Prince — that results in an alien invasion of the Lego city of Bricksburg.

In the aftermath, the city transforms into a post-apocalyptic cityscape until the arrival of a new ship takes several of Bricksburg’s residents to the “Systar System.” Some of these charming characters include Lucy, voiced by Elizabeth Banks, and the compelling Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, who follow in hopes of rescuing her.

Even with the pressure of living up to the first, returning screenwriters Phil Lord and Christopher Miller may have provided an even stronger script the second time around. Like the first movie, the jokes play well with a younger audience. Yet the film still throws out many jokes for older viewers to enjoy that may not land with the children in the audience.

WARNER BROS | The original Lego movie charmed audiences in 2014 with an unpredictable and heartwarming plot. “The Lego Movie 2: The Sequel” mostly lives up to the standard the first set, featuring a catchy soundtrack, jokes that land for audiences young and old, and lots of plot twists. This second installment in the franchise is a must-see for Lego fans.

But where “The Lego Movie 2,” directed by Mike Mitchell, shines the most is when it makes fun of itself and breaks the fourth wall. The new format of the first movie allowed the ending to be unexpected, but its sequel manages to be unpredictable, even when reusing a now-familiar format, for its viewers. “The Lego Movie 2” is unafraid to lean into metafiction for humor by referencing the first movie a number of times as well as its style, other elements of pop culture and the cinematographic history of its voice actors.

While to some extent it maintains the upbeat tone of the first film, “The Lego Movie 2” is much more self-aware of the oblivious optimism of the first. One of the major themes of the script is the change that accompanies growing up, acknowledging that sometimes “everything’s not awesome.”

It is a challenging message to tackle in a children’s movie that made the motto “everything is awesome” the theme of the first. While the chaos of the end of the film makes some of the intentions unclear, it still manages to address this struggle in a reaffirming way.

The script is not the only aspect that makes the film shine. The first “Lego Movie” was known for its music, and “The Lego Movie 2” does not fail to carry on that legacy. Mark Mothersbaugh composed both scores, and Jon Lajoie wrote several songs that try — and mostly succeed — to be as impossibly catchy as the first movie’s soundtrack like “Catchy Song” and “Everything’s Not Awesome.”

The voice acting is also strong, particularly that of Will Arnett’s Batman, who hits a remarkable range while not losing his trademark tone, and Pratt, who voices multiple characters but keeps their voices as distinct as they should be.

The masterful animation is a standout of the whole franchise. The moments when the computer animation blurs into the stop-motion of the Lego characters in the real world make for compelling visual storytelling, and the sequences in the toy world are smoothly animated without forgetting their source.

While “The Lego Movie 2” is not quite as original as the first, the magic of introducing a format that feels both nostalgic and brand-new is difficult to recreate. But the sequel is still a powerful illustration of the beauty of Lego, as well as an ultimately meaningful story in its own right, and worth seeing for those reasons alone.

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