Erica Flores

Lego Movie 2 creates a new layer based on …

Spoiler Warning: This Review Reveals Important Late 2014 Original Details Lego movie.

The most innovative and boldly different successful projects face two main drawbacks: backers will want sequels, and the more distinctive a project is, the higher the level of difficulty in that sequel. Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s blockbuster 2014 The Lego Movie It is an excellent example of this. The entire idea for a Lego-based movie seemed like the baldiest, most mercenary commercial toy setup for a movie that product placement gurus could imagine. But Lord and Miller turned it into a meditation on childhood creativity and joy, with a side to side eye on some great worn out fantasy tropes, like the prophesied “chosen” hero. And they wrapped it up in an astonishingly fast prank delivery system, built around surprisingly elaborate animation, and linked to an inescapably catchy song.

So how do you keep track of a movie that created a world and then changed it by revealing at climax that it wasn’t what audiences thought it was? There’s the standard continuation toolkit: “Go Bigger, Stronger, and Simpler.” There is the full pivot strategy that the Lego movie splits The Lego Batman Movie Y The Lego Ninjago Movie He took, focusing on different characters on the same stage. And then there is the Harry Potter / Toy story Playbook, where the creators try to let their franchise grow a bit alongside their audience, using the same characters, but darkening the tone and reaching more mature themes. As writers and producers (although Shrek Forever AfterMike Mitchell has taken over directorial duties), Lord and Miller are heading towards that last option, more or less. With The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, they let the story grow. But in the process, they make fun of the “grow up” stories, just as they made fun of the “chosen” stories in the first round.

The Lego Movie features Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), an ordinary little Lego dude who is totally average aside from his obscenely cunning demeanor and inexplicable role as “the Special”, a prophesied savior for his threatened Lego world. When a mysterious force threatens his city of Bricksburg, he saves the day: In the process, he reveals that his world and his story are a game that is being played out in the human world by a boy named Finn, who is creative with the extensive games. of his father’s Lego. . When the movie ends, Finn is joined by his little sister Bianca, who also wants to play. Suddenly, Finn’s Lego world is threatened by Bianca’s toys, a series of raw, baby-voiced creatures made from Lego’s line of toddlers, Duplo.

Lego movie 2 It briefly occupies the exact moment the first movie stopped, with “aliens” from “planet Duplon” making their way through Bricksburg. The action then takes a five-year leap, as shadowy heroine Wyldstyle, aka Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), explains that since anything remotely bright or shiny attracts the attention of invaders, Bricksburg has become a post-apocalyptic dark and gritty dystopia as a form of defense. . Several figures from the first film, including Unikitty (Alison Brie) and the pirate Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), have faced darker, more carnage people, though spacecraft-mad astronaut Benny (Charlie’s Day) seems almost unchanged. (Will Arnett’s Lego Batman was always ready for the apocalypse, though he has to take a stressful moment to explain why Robin and Batgirl’s The Lego Batman Movie have disappeared, supposedly to please fans who prefer Batman as a moody loner.)

Photo: Warner Bros.

Emmett hasn’t changed either, and accepts the apocalypse with his usual optimistic oblivion. That seriously offends Lucy, who wants him to grow up and darken with the rest of the world. Then a mysterious invader kidnaps Lucy and the rest of the crew, and Emmet has to seek help from a reckless badass Dangervest named Rex Dangervest to become strong and serious enough to save the day.

The Lego Movie it had its notable flaws, particularly the way it introduced Wyldstyle as a world badass, solely so that Emmet could overcome it, rescue it, and win it casually. But Lord and Miller brought the movie so quickly and joyfully from the Lego world to the Lego world, highlighting creativity, color, and playfulness, that it was impossible to fixate on a plot point or a character representation for long. . The visual and verbal gags came at an astonishing rate if you focused on something, as if you were trying to keep viewers overwhelmed and hypnotized. The sequel actually slows down the story a bit, with a lower rate of jokes per second and a bit more time for contemplation. But instead of making the new movie smaller or more boring, make room for a little more sophistication. The best joke in the sequel isn’t one-line or one-shot, it’s subtly and fundamentally embedded in the story.

Where the first movie kept the big reveal meta for last, Lego movie 2 in the foreground, without expressly spelling it out. The entire movie is a push and pull between Finn and Bianca, between the imagination of a surly teenager and an energetic young woman. Finn’s likes push Bricksburg into its ruined apocalypse state, where residents ponder the wreckage caused by Bianca’s hyperactivity and excitement. But they embrace it too, with sullen pride in their own ferocity. Meanwhile, Bianca’s most chaotic and emotion-driven form of play fills the city with exploding hearts and stars that speak with the voices of young children. His contributions to the fictional world break order and introduce a random chaotic element.

Photo: Warner Bros.

And Bianca introduces a new character, Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, who is constantly changing shape, voiced by Tiffany Haddish. The queen’s name, pronounced as “whatever I want to be,” is an open announcement that Bianca is playing without limits, embracing whatever fancy she finds elegant and changing shape to suit the moment. That lack of structure is erratic and unpredictable for characters trapped in the story, but for viewers it is wonderful.

The most impressive of The Lego Movie 2 is that it does not explain any of this directly. The action is periodically removed to show what is happening in the real world, to explain why certain things happen in Emmett’s reality in Lego. (It is a bit like the changes between a child’s playtime and the imaginary world that toys are experiencing in the Toy story movies, except that all Toy story Characters know and love their human owner, while most Lego characters are unaware of the human forces that shape their lives. But there is never a narrative or exposition that clarifies how the rivalry between Finn and Bianca’s siblings is shaking up the Lego world. It’s left for viewers to learn on their own, as an ongoing meta-joke that gives the whole story an extra level.

But the joke that the whole story is just a game for a couple of kids also plays out on a third level, and that one has a bit of a stir. Once again, without expressly expressing her feelings, Bianca seems to resent that Finn is getting older and taking up “mature” games; and movies since then Watchmen Y The Dark Knight Returns. And that manifests itself in their shared fictional narrative, as Emmett tries to “grow up” to please Lucy, and finds some major cliches getting in the way. The film ends by poking fun at both the shadowy movement and the whole idea of ​​coming of age, which it portrays as far less funny than childlike innocence and mindless play.

Photo: Warner Bros.

A lot of Lego movie 2 it operates on the same level. Viewers are constantly into meta-humor that the characters miss, from the many jokey voice cameos (including Jason Momoa reprising his role as Aquaman) to the conscious reckoning of a dance music song called “Catchy Song.” that is repeated incessantly. the line “This song is going to get stuck inside your head!” When Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi sings a very tongue-in-cheek song called “It’s Not Evil”, where she doesn’t convincingly promise she’s not a villain, the film reaches a point of tongue. cheek where it is gloriously impossible to tell who is really sincere.

And that level of joy ends up making Lego movie 2 an impressive experience, even when it cannot keep up with the surprises and innovations of its predecessor. The new movie hits many of the same beats, from Mark Mothersbaugh’s eloquent electro-score to some gags of the same character. (Batman: still extremely in her own enthusiasm. Benny: still extremely in spaceships. Lucy: still quite unsure and unsure about whether other people consider her badass enough.) Her ever-changing and rebuilding world is still surprising, but aside From The Dazzling Work on Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, much of the novelty has worn off at this point. The closing credits song with Robyn and The Lonely Island is hilarious, but little more than a snap after the movie ends. On the surface Lego movie 2 it’s smaller and less ambitious than the series’ launch movie, and it’s less hectic and fun to boot. It has fewer fantastic worlds, and less to discover in them.

But seen as a narrative that operates constantly on both an adventure level and a meta level, as a functional thriller and a satire of its own genre, it is an incredibly clever and ironic project. It’s fitting that a movie about construction toys is entirely dedicated to deconstructing stories of familiar heroes and villains, and that a movie about kids playing spends a lot of time playing with the genre. Like the first Lego movie, the sequel entertains itself with ever-changing forms, and themes of creativity and creation. It ends up feeling like more than just a mandatory payment – build a whole new layer on top of the Lego movie foundations.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part It will be in a wide theatrical premiere from February 8, 2019.