by Hans A. Carpenter
Release Date: February 8, 2019
Director: Mike Mitchell
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett
Mister Marquee Says: All Around Fun
After the events of the first LEGO movie, Bricksburg has become Apocalypseburg, a gritty, mature post-apocalyptic wasteland full of brooding, hardened characters, and Emit (Chris Pratt), is still happy and upbeat. When Emit’s girlfriend, Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), and their other friends are kidnapped by aliens from the Systar System, Emit must harden to save his loved ones.
The first LEGO Movie was an obvious cash grab and a feature-length advertisement for LEGO. Then, something unexpected happened, this movie, with no business being good, ended up being hilarious and emotionally satisfying. LEGO Movie 2 keeps the heart and soul of the first movie with more meta humor and great voice work. The framing device of what happens in the LEGO universe is a really strong relationship that, for the sake of spoilers I won’t delve into, is in the same vein of the first movie. There’s a strong human family element that serves as the backbone of the story. The meta humor is off the charts, spoofing the characters featured (like Batman, Superman) and the film industry in general. For the very first introduction of the dark, “mature” gritty universe that features elements of Mad Max: Fury Road and Blade Runner: 2049, you get the sense of what kind of laughs are in store. The jokes work on the surface level for kids and on a deeper level for adults. Many kids’ movies opt for low-hanging fruit, but the greats make all audiences happy on different levels at the same time.
This is one of those special movies that appeal to everyone and is enjoyable on many levels. Kids’ movies are on a real upswing, and the LEGO franchise is one of the brightest stars. Kids, adults, old fans, new fans, it doesn’t really matter, there’s something for everyone here.