The follow-up to the wildly successful Lego Movie takes upbeat builder Emmett (Chris Pratt) into space to the Systar System in search of his his friends who have been abducted by a space alien who wants to marry Batman (Will Arnett).
The first Lego Movie was a hard act to follow, not just because of its innovative animation and joke-a-second script, but because of its heartfelt message which hinged on a final act twist that (spoiler) it all took place in a the imagination of Finn (Jadon Sand), a young boy with so much Lego his mum must work for them or something. With the twist now revealed, Finn’s family plays a far bigger role in the story, which is essentially a sibling feud played out through the medium of little coloured bricks.
The new Lego town is a Mad Max style post-apocalyptic world, reflecting not cataclysm but the fact Finn is now an adolescent. Following this theme I was half expecting the final act twist to be that it all takes place inside the stomach of an unfortunate whale, but perhaps that would be too meta and self-aware even for Lego.
The excellent script builds on the original with the same high rate of irreverent humour with both visual and verbal gags throughout. Not many films manage to be genuinely unpredictable and it also has a moral core as strong as, while different to, the first film. In fact everything is imaginative here except the title.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller once again write the film, making us wish we’d seen their almost certainly bizarre original version of Solo: A Star Wars Story. But this time Mike Mitchell takes the director’s chair (which I assume is made of Lego) delivering on the same part-CGI part stop motion style.
The animation is dazzling, especially Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) and her eye and ear popping musical numbers. Well-known characters again take centre stage with Arnett’s Batman cementing his position as the best incarnation of the Caped Crusader currently working.
Other famous actors to lend their voices include Jason Momoa and Margot Robbie, reprising their roles as Aquaman and Harley Quinn, Bruce Willis as himself, plus small roles for Ralph Fiennes, Richard Ayoade, Will Ferrell, Noel Fielding, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
It’s fun, funky and full of energy, managing to be much better than it has any right to be as both a two hour toy commercial and a sequel.