Critics are sharing their verdicts on The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – cue lots of openers about whether everything is awesome once again…
Verdicts are in as the review embargo has lifted for The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part . In a surprise move, Warner Bros. screened the film early in the USA for the public and at the same time allowed critics to publish their reviews. So what do film critics say about the sequel to 2014’s The LEGO Movie?
In the Variety review of the film, Peter DeBruge describes the sibling disagreements at the heart of the film as providing “a false conflict for this sequel” and that while “it’s faster, denser, and jam-packed with all sorts of catchy new songs … all that energy only goes so far to cover for the wobblier foundation on which this film is built”. The review suggests that the meta story never quite works as well as it needs to.
IGN describes the film as “an ambitious film, with complicated storytelling techniques and thoughtful messages” but doesn’t quite reach the heights it is aiming for as “the animated world is just a symbol of a little girl stealing her brother’s toys, so it’s hard to get invested in either version of reality”. Overall it is considered an enjoyable, amusing film, but one that does not live up to the original.
Over in Empire magazine, things sound more positive with a four star review – acknowledging that it follows the template of the first film, but saying “you’re going to repeat yourself, you might as well repeat yourself on a giddy, subversive, hilarious treat”. Like other critics, John Nugent does not give the themes a pass – “The ham-fisted lessons and wacky adventuring are just a skeleton on which to hang the meat of the thing” – the comedy and the animation.
The Hollywood Reporter says that the film “can’t help but feel like a flimsy, unlicensed knockoff.” There is little original in the movie according to Michael Rechtschaffen, “it’s nevertheless dispiriting to witness just how generic this once-promising tentpole has become.” While the cast is given props for their handling of the material, THR concludes that they “haven’t been provided with enough of the laugh-out-loud, character-driven opportunities they were given the first time around”.
According to IndieWire, the filmmakers behind The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part insist on “reminding kids and adults alike that sometimes everything isn’t awesome — and that’s okay. Unfortunately, that message of mediocrity applies more to the actual movie than anything else.” Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi is credited with bringing freshness and new opportunities to the film. Despite highlighting the film’s lack of originality compared to The LEGO Movie, the sequel still gets a B- score.
Vox gives The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part three stars out of five, and asks “why didn’t I like it more?” The review acknowledges that the movie is fun, and amusing, but again points out that the big themes do not hold together as well as intended.
The consensus seems to be that The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part continues to bring the funny and the wacky, but struggles to maintain the emotional depth of the original. Given that the first film set such a high standard and received such universal critical praise, it seems that despite critics finding this film does not reach the same level of success, there is plenty to enjoy within it.
The Brick Fanatics review of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part will arrive soon.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part will be released on February 8, 2019.