By Liz Lopez
Fans of the 2014 animated film “The LEGO Movie” from writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“21 Jump Street,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”) have anxiously awaited the direct sequel to it, despite having the two films a couple of years ago, “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “The LEGO Ninjago Movie.” Although I enjoyed the “Batman” film, the “Ninjago” did not quite hit the mark for me, but I have no doubt the film was successful enough for families who enjoy anything LEGO. “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” is now directed by Mike Mitchell (“Trolls,” “Sky High”), based on a screenplay by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, from their story (along with Matthew Fogel), based on LEGO Construction Toys. Fans of the original 2014 film that recall Lord and Miller’s humor will be pleased with the script full of humor for the adults (that some children may not get, thankfully) in this animated family movie. There were adult members of the audience sitting close to me that were laughing out loud – and I plan to see the film again to ensure I didn’t miss some of the humor at certain points in the film.
Aside from the humor found in “The Second Part,” there is a very good story at the core, about certain struggles in our lives between family members or friends, and how we handle it. Finn (Jadon Sand, the boy returning from the first movie), and his little sister Bianca (Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project”), each have their own version of play with the LEGOs in the live action portion of the story. Growing up is not always positive, especially if siblings or friends grow apart and create a distance between each other. It is not a message that viewers are perpetually hit with, but it serves well to teach it or remember it, for audience members of any age.
The voice acting is perfect once again, starting with Chris Pratt portraying two characters, Emmet and Rex, and many who enter the film without knowing this will think it is two actors. He differentiates the characters very well. Elizabeth Banks is fabulous again as Lucy and Wyldstyle (I love the discussion of her hair), as well as are the returning cast from The LEGO Movie, Batman (Will Arnett), Superman (Channing Tatum) and Green Lantern (Jonah Hill). I love the lines written for Batman about marriage and commitment and Arnett delivers them so well. New additions to the voice cast are Tiffany Haddish as Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi and Stephanie Beatriz as General Mayhem / Sweet Mayhem who also bring it with their voice talent in this animated world. It is fun to hear the live-action DC actors Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot and Margot Robbie’s voice their comic book characters in mini-figure size.
Hold on music fans, as there are plenty of songs that are fun and catchy, by award-winning film and television composer Mark Mothersbaugh, and the entire crew of the music department. A soundtrack and a score album will be released (both digitally and on CD).
“The LEGO Movie: The Second Part” plays in some U.S. theaters Thursday evening February 7th and nationwide on Friday, February 8th.
It is 106 minutes long and rated PG for some rude humor.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Animation Group, WaterTower Music