Wit, Humor And Heart;
The Core Message Resonates;
When The LEGO Movie came out years ago, I had no idea how much I would like it, and as it turned out, I hadn’t smiled that hard in a long time. And this time around, all the pieces snap right back together for a fittingly great experience for adults and kids alike.
Phil Lord is back in the screenwriting driver’s seat, along with some help, and the result is fantastic once again. The jokes for grown ups are great, and several times I erupted in unexpected laughter that my kids didn’t understand in the slightest. The kid friendly humor isn’t dumbed down at all either, as you’ll never find yourself wincing or rolling your eyes. The plot zips along at a great clip, so neither you nor your kids will ever feel bored.
The cast members once again nail their voices, with Will Arnett shining brightest once again under the cape and cowl. The amount of fun they are having with the material is palpable, and really enhances the whole experience. Alison Brie, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pratt (in a dual role), Stephanie Beatriz and more all knock out their respective roles, and you’ll have fun trying to identify the cameo voices (wait…was that Jason Momoa?!) as they fly around the screen, darting in and out of the silliness.
I always love the animation in these movies. The way they bring LEGO to life while keeping their movements equally clunky and very smooth is impressive and really pulls you into this zany, dreamlike world. It isn’t often that you see a movie like this whose animation style can really enhance the inherent humor, and it greatly fortifies the identity of the universe in this case.
Oh, and the songs? They are great. We were hoping for another round of Everything Is Awesome with a new twist, and weren’t let down. There are a few new numbers as well that are extremely effective and often quite funny.
If there is a nitpick to be had, I guess it would be the emotional resonance factor, as compared to the initial installment. I don’t like to compare movies when reviewing, but The LEGO Movie had a major reveal at the end, and knowing that “trick” coming into this film makes it not only a bit easy to predict, but also forces it to carry a bit less weight as a result. Seeing it with my son and his little sister, themselves separated by three years, made the message of being good to your younger siblings while you’re in a hurry to grow up hit home for me, but it may not work as well on others.
This is a movie with very high expectations, and it manages to meet most or all of them. As soon as we got outside, my son wanted to give his sister a hug and a kiss. A far cry from the arguments they were engaging in beforehand. And quite the welcome, heartwarming change.