Saturday, July 11, 2020

Lego Movie 2: Building Blocks For a Fun Film

Reel Reviews

The original “Lego Movie” was released in 2014 where it received both commercial and critical acclaim for its heartwarming story and combination of stop-motion Lego pieces with computer animation. Five years later, after at least two spin-offs were produced, the original film has finally gotten its sequel. The only question now is can the new film capture the same credibility as the original?

“Lego Movie 2” continues right where the first left off, with our main hero Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) and his city being invaded by an alien race of Legos from another world. Five years later they continue to live in fear of their unknown enemy until they are attacked once again by a strange being known only as General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz). The masked General soon takes all of Emmet’s friends’ captive, including his close companion Lucy (Elizabeth Banks). With his friends in the clutches of the entity responsible for the fall of his home, Emmet will have to face the unknown by himself as he ventures into the dark void beyond to rescue the people he loves. The film features an all-star cast with Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Tiffany Haddish, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Maya Rudolph, and Will Ferrell.

Now, I know on paper everything I just described sounds positively ridiculous—because it is. This is one of the silliest films I’ve seen in a while, but it’s the good kind of silly that’s fun and enjoyable. “Lego Movie 2” is an animated story that takes ideas of the dystopian world, magic, superheroes, musicals, and science-fiction then throws them into a blender with a bunch of Lego pieces and just liquefies the whole thing into one insane film. It’s a story that feels like it was made by kids, which is probably the feeling the filmmakers were going for.

This is the kind of movie where you can tell the cast and crew had a blast making. It’s not afraid to poke fun at itself, or even at other films. There are one or two times where some of the humor tends to get too cutesy or cringy, but for a child, however, they’ll find it enjoyable. In fact, some of the jokes are a bit impressive when you stop and consider the effort that must’ve gone into them. I didn’t even mention the fact that the movie has a Lego Bruce Willis voiced by the Bruce Willis for a brief joke. I don’t know which is sillier. The fact that someone had to go and make a Lego version of Bruce Willis, or the fact that they managed to get him to voice in a children’s movie. It’s the kind of thing that really makes you wish you were a fly on the wall during production.Of course, the film isn’t all humor and no point or moral. Though it has plenty of action and jokes, the film knows when to have its calm and slow moments to balance the film. In fact, though I can’t go into detail without spoiling it, the movie actually had one or two moments where it surprised me with how it handled its overall plot. Compared to the first film, however, the story feels like mild a step back, but it doesn’t hurt the sequel’s credibility too much.

As for the animation, well… it’s hard to critique actors and film sets that are all made from plastic, but on the whole, the entire film is wonderfully animated. It feels weird to see such a big budget film using plastic building blocks, and I’m sure there are many viewers out there who find it ridiculous, but this wouldn’t be the first time a new form of animation style was unveiled to a skeptical audience. In the 1930s, people thought Walt Disney was insane for trying to make “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” one of the first theatrically released movies to be made using hand-drawn animation. In the 1990s, people—including Disney themselves—found the idea of making a movie using computer-animation to be positively ridiculous, yet Pixar did it anyway for “Toy Story,” and cut to twenty-four years later it’s already getting its fourth sequel.

I know I’m glossing over other animation styles like Claymation, but my point is I’m happy that there’s a new form of animated storytelling that exists for all audiences; a style that I hope will continue for the foreseeable future. It actually makes me wonder what’ll come next? Who’s to say in another few years someone else will come along with a new form of animated storytelling? We’ll just have to wait and see.

“Lego Movie 2” is rated PG for some rude humor. Despite how silly the movie sounds for most adult viewers out there, this is a fun film that the whole family can enjoy. It knows how to hold your attention with its voice acting and storytelling, the animation is fun to look at, and I can guarantee it will get a laugh out of you. Which is why the final score for “Lego Movie 2” is an 8 out of 10.

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