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The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a delightful all-ages adventure with the potential to reach even the most cynical and weary of us.
The ham-fisted lessons and wacky adventuring are just a skeleton on which to hang the meat of the thing: gorgeous, stunningly realised animation; frequent self-referential shrewdness; and still some of the wildest, most surreal jokes you’ll find in any movie.
Underneath the expressive voice work, songs, in-jokes, and nonsense cameos, there is some thematic resonance to Lego Movie 2, not fully tapped.
The LEGO Movie 2 isn’t quite as funny or as brilliantly executed as the original, but it’s an ambitious, likable sequel. Kids will enjoy it and adults will appreciate that the filmmakers took it seriously, and tried to say something meaningful. Just don’t think about it too much, because the LEGO universe is often weird and confusing.
As entertaining as The Lego Movie 2 ends up being — and let’s be clear, it’s still better than 99 percent of its competition — there’s something missing: that white-hot spark of insane creativity and out-of-the-box novelty that made the first Lego Movie such an unexpected, revolutionary surprise. Everything is still awesome. Just a little bit less so.
The genius of the first movie was its ability to disguise a searing critique of capitalism inside a hilarious package, an idea that is genuinely funny itself. The sequel, with its recycled jokes and re-mixed songs, is merely a reminder of how original the original actually was.
Like its signature song (which has taken up permanent residence inside my brain), The Lego Movie 2 is fun and full of energy, but unlike the original, it’s not entirely memorable. Hopefully, its kind message will stick with kids and parents, even if none of the jokes do.
The sci-fi settings – dystopian grit-scape, rainbow-coloured cosmos – are dazzlers; the satire is playful not snarky; and as you’d expect, several unexpected cameos. It doesn’t sweat too hard to appease both kids and adults – the latter’s pain much felt in a scene you might describe as product mis-placement.
Everything is adequate might not have the same ring to it, but it would make a fitting jingle for The Lego Movie 2.
To be sure, The Lego Movie 2 is a lot of fun. If you loved the first movie or just need something to see in theaters, it won’t disappoint. It neatly subverts a bunch of the issues the first movie had, particularly when it came to how that movie portrayed its women characters. But it also loses a little something in terms of expectations versus reality.

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