The Lego Movie 2 – a second opinion
Director Mike Mitchell has yet to make a solid movie. From the man that directed Sky High, Shrek: Forever After and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo comes a sequel to one of the most promising franchises of all. Since the introduction of The Lego Movie, we’ve had two more outings with the excellent The Lego Batman Movie and the apparently dreadful LEGO Ninjago Movie. So how does the fourth movie in the LCU (LEGO Cinematic Universe) hold up?
Not well at all. It’s a real shame to see the movie fail to this degree. We’re not talking mediocre either, we’re talking worst movie of the year contender. This is in part due to pieces of the production and cast, but the crucial problem is that the plot isn’t all that interesting. With a strong first movie tackling a fairly solid emotional message, the sky was very much the limit with the sequel. Offering up DUPLO antagonists was not the way I saw the movie going. Nowhere near as interesting or as funny as Will Ferrel’s Lord Business role.
Perhaps that’s the biggest problem of all, the sheer fact that the movie just isn’t funny. A lot of reused jokes that feel extremely cheap, the few original jokes throughout fail to land. Most of the plot points feel like a quick rehash of the first movie, with the prophecy from the first movie now being a dream Emmett had off-screen somewhere. Not too much detail on this one, but there are a couple musical numbers that derail the movie entirely.
I feel the cast felt this shift in tone as well, they seem happy to reign in any chance of a decent performance and phone in their roles as much as they can. Nick Offerman especially, he doesn’t sound himself, nor does it feel like he wants to be there. This feeling strings into other members of the cast, especially Will Arnett and Chris Pratt who presumably had other, better things to do given their irrelevance throughout. Even with two voice roles, Pratt fails to offer up anything of interest.
But the smallest pieces of a movie can build into something tangible. The saving grace for The Lego Movie 2 is the cameos, which are frequent, pace breaking and often irrelevant. Although it was fun to see Bruce Willis among others, the script feels as if it was written around these cameos and references. With a Mad Max: Fury Road style introduction it’s hard to see where the cameos end and the plot begins, especially in the early stages of build-up.
It’s almost criminal then that this movie is the follow-up to a superb child-friendly movie. Heading into Illumination Studios territory of awful, The Lego Movie 2 is unfunny, riddled with poor plot developments and ultimately poorly directed. With the novelty of purely LEGO animation now wearing thin, a potential third sequel will have to do something drastic to regain this critics attention.