“This song’s gonna get stuck inside your head”
Sometimes, the secret to a good kids movie is getting into the mindset of a child. In the case of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, that has a more literal sense of the concept. It takes a lot of imagination and wonder to come up with something like a Lego movie in the same way it would probably be difficult to come up with a solid Toy Story film, but somehow, they’re able to do it. I had my doubts about the second film in this franchise holding as much merit as the first, since we’ve already been introduced to all of the main characters. What more could they do, anyway? Well…enough. They do enough. I would certainly say the first film is better, but the second is just as fresh in a way.
One of the main things I noticed with this film is the subtle genre shift. Kids are like adults, they all have different preference to what they like, but they are still kids. This film mixed a big chunk of sci-fi into the bag, as they explored the land away from Brickburg/Apocalypseburg. That’s not entirely surprising, given how the first movie already took you through a bunch of possible worlds, but the whole sci-fi thing kept things fresh, especially since there is a lot of potential there. Regardless, they did a good job at keeping things interesting and fresh. Let’s break it down.
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.Warner Bros.
PEOPLE – 16/20 (80%)
Acting – 2/4 | Characters – 4/4 | Casting – 4/4 | Importance – 3/4 | Chemistry – 3/4
The Lego Movie 2, as well as most other kids films, spend a lot of time getting the people category right, since kids aren’t big thinkers when it comes to story, they often depend on relatable characters that are funny and memorable, and just as the first did, the sequel followed suit here. This movie is all about characters, and including the inside humor about Chris Pratt’s other action-oriented roles is hilarious. At this point, it’s a sequel, the only problem with the casting is no Morgan Freeman, but I didn’t really notice until after I saw the movie, otherwise, you just can’t imagine who else would play great hilarous voices for recognizable characters better than the cast they have. I’d say there’s not much of an acting range, but that’s expected, and because there isn’t a clear plan of action in the film to accomplish the mission, the characters don’t have as much individual importance as they COULD have, but honestly…that’s it.
WRITING – 8/10 (80%)
Dialogue – 2/2 | Balance – 1/2 | Story Depth – 2/2 | Originality – 1/2 | Interesting – 2/2
Another thing that makes certain kids films better than most is the ability to entertain their parents too, and that includes a lot of tongue-in-cheek stuff that adults will pick up on, and while a lot of toons will often use crude humor, the writers were smart enough to use other materials that works just as well, and that something I really appreciated about the writing in these movies. I think the only real problem came down to balance and originality here. In general, the legos were trying to accomplish something, or rather, stop something from happening, but there was no plan of action. They just generally wanted to stop it, and it was really only their surroundings that help them achieve their mission in the long run. Originality was basically, it felt like we’ve already seen the movie. That’s not a bad thing, but it is what it is. Parts of it still felt fresh, so that’s why it still got half points. Everything else received perfect points.
BTS – 9/10 (90%)
Visuals – 2/2 | Cinematography – 1/2 | Editing – 2/2 | Advertising – 2/2 | Music & Sound – 2/2
Yeah, these kind of movies sometimes have it easy just because it IS animated. As long as you have a vision of how it is supposed to turn out, you have a much easier chance at making that a reality because none of it is actual footage…except…it is. Remember, part of this series thrives on the fact that it uses part CGI, part stop-motion graphics, done so well that it’s hard to tell which is what, which is crazy. So, the visuals definitely get full points here. The only reason why I didn’t give cinematography full points here is because there was no specific scene or sequence in this movie that popped out at me specifically people of camera placement or movement. That’s not to say it’s bad, I just thought it was more or less average. Everything else is great. Editing on this type of project is beyond imagination, it was as advertised, and that song…that….song. That song got stuck…in my head.
NARRATIVE ARC – 8/10 (80%)
Introduction – 2/2 | Inciting Incident – 2/2 | Obstacles – 1/2 | Climax – 2/2 | Resolution – 1/2
Most kids films follow a rather simple and basic narrative structure, and for the most part, this film is no different. However, like I said, the main characters never really have a plan of action, so to speak, they just rely on their surrounding elements to get them from Point A to Point B, which more or less just means there’s not much to the obstacles. They have one goal in mind, and getting to that goal is their one obstacle. Also, as far as resolutions are considered, I’m not sure. I don’t fully feel like it returned to a new sense of norm, but it did calm down. Everything else, narratively speaking, was done according to plan.
ENTERTAINMENT – 4/10 (40%)
Rewatchability – 1/2 | Fun Experience – 2/2 | Impulse/Buy – 0/2 | Impulse/Talk – 0/2 | Sucks you in – 1/2
Remember, always remember full points in this category simply means it blew me away, but around half points means I’m still perfectly entertained by the film, which for the most part, is where the movie lies. Like I said, in general, I like the first movie better, and choosing between the two, I’d always choose to rewatch the first. I don’t think I’d mind seeing this one again, but I’m not rushing back anytime soon. I also don’t care to buy or own this one for whatever reason. It’s great for a one-time viewing, I don’t think it’s utterly fascinating enough to warrant discussion points, and as far as sucking you in, there are points here and there that are vital and do suck you in, but the rest of the movie just seems like it was made for fun and that’s it.
SPECIALTY – 40/40 (100%)
Lego Movie – 10/10 | Sequel – 10/10 | Comedy – 10/10 | Halfway Decent – 10/10
A perfect score in this category basically means one thing – it exceeded my expectations, and it did. I didn’t really expect much going in to the movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. It feels like it fits in perfectly into this crazy new cinematic universe they’ve created, as a sequel, I feel like it was something people wanted to see, and it did add something new into the mix, as a comedy, they are still writing content that works well for kids and adults, and halfway decent? Absolutely. They made the film they wanted to, again, so well done there.