In a lot of ways, while the Brothers Warner haven’t been able to cash in on the recent sweet, sweet superhero money, they have done a good job counter-programming against it. In a world where superheroes are grim, pseudo-adult fare, movies like Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, The Lego Batman Movie and the original Lego Movie manage to poke fun at both the current over-serious genre and the notion that being adult means having to take everything seriously.
That said, like the other films, I wouldn’t have gone to see The Lego Movie 2 if not for the Barbarienne.
In this movie, Legoland is devastated by enemies from the Sister System who are trying to hasten the Armapocalypse? Ourmomapocalypse? The end of the world. When all the gritty, grim characters are kidnapped, it’s up to the lovable, happy Emmet to save the day, which venture he approaches by enlisting the help of Rex Dangervest, a gritty, grimy roguish type who teaches him how to be a tough guy.
It’s cute. It’s not nearly as funny as the first one to be sure, but it’s also less frantic feeling. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, directors of the first movie, are recently more famous for having been pulled off Solo: A Star Wars Story (which I had to type multiple times because it kept coming Soylo: A Soy Wars Soyry) and perhaps for being producers on the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which feels very influenced by the Lego movies.
This also maybe suffers a bit because you know going in what the gag is. The Toy Story-ish relationship between the real world and the Lego world is even more tenuous than Toy Story and raises a bunch of questions that the movie glides over quickly, hoping you won’t think about it too long. This also means that the real-world resolution didn’t bite as much as it might’ve. I was, however, touched by the resolution—but then I’m a sap for these sorts of things.
They got new kids for the kids. Maya Rudolph plays mom. Will Ferrell’s voice plays dad. Chris Pratt is Emmet, Elizabeth Banks is Lucy, Will Arnett is Batman, Jason Momoa plays Aquaman (heh), and Bruce Willis does a really poor imitation of…himself. Seriously, I thought they got an imitator. But Die Hard was 30 years ago, maybe he doesn’t remember what he sounded like.
There are worse ways to spend 1:40, especially watching a kidflick. Very little in the way of scatological humor, which was nice. The next one comes out, The Barbarienne will probably be too old to care, so that’s…well, that’ll probably make me cry.