The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part takes place five years after the first instalment and, yes, everything is still awesome in the city of Bricksburg. That is until the arrival of the Duplo characters disrupts this state of perpetual awesomeness. The childish Duplo can’t get along with the more mature Lego figures and before you can say “everything is awesome,” war breaks out. Bricksburg degenerates into a Mad Max-style wasteland named Apocalypseburg.
What’s even more worrying is that our protagonist Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) shares a foreboding vision with his Lego lover Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) prophesying that the war between Duplo and Lego will escalate to the highest of stakes: “Ourmamageddon” — the sending of all the Lego and Duplo into storage for all eternity.
As The Lego Movie 2 established this plot I felt a little uneasy because it felt like the film was working on about 10% of the excitement and ingenuity levels of the first film; there were very few clever double entendres, the first musical number was a drag and even the action set pieces lacked imagination. Perhaps the writers, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, expended their creative juices on their recent masterpiece Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse?
When The Lego Movie 2 attempts to emulate the successful parts of the first film it feels unnecessary and even boring. However, once you’re through the clunky and uninspired set up, The Lego Movie 2 begins to develop in interesting ways that surprise you in the same way that the first film did. The film best justifies its existence when it explores the tumultuous relationship between an adolescent boy and his younger sister. She simply wants to be involved with all the Lego-based fun her older brother is having but can’t express this desire without being misconstrued as an irksome intruder.
Throughout the film the Lego characters, representative of the older brother’s apprehension to play with his sister, are wary of the Duplo characters who sling hearts and cute looking stars at the Lego characters, signifying the younger sister’s sincere yearning to play with her brother. The Lego characters nevertheless mistrust the Duplo. The Duplo Queen Waterva Wa’Nabi even sings a song explaining that she’s definitely not the bad guy of the story – and Wyldstyle refuses to believe that the Duplos want to live in peaceful unison with Legos.
The Lego Movie 2 ultimately delivers some very funny, heart-warming moments – especially if you’re a boy with a younger sister like myself. Even though it doesn’t match the creativity and vitality of the first film and the messages about inclusion despite difference being somewhat ham-fisted, The Lego Movie 2 legitimises its existence through its understated narrative of a brother and sister learning to get along.