IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Lego sequel fails to build on original

08 February, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Certificate PG
☆☆☆

IT has been five years since we met Emmet the Builder and his perma-smile, and enjoyed one of the most original, heartstring-tugging and simply splendid family films of recent times.

But in between the first and the sequel, we’ve had a couple of OK spin-offs as the studio recognises a cash cow when it sees one – and now we are back to the Lego in the basement tale and discovering what happened next to our family of brick builders.

Lego Movie 2 is not a wholesale disappointment – it has lots of charm – but it just doesn’t get near the heights reached previously.

Its first problem is the original was so fantastic, a second instalment was always going to have its work cut out to match it.

We have essentially a very similar story based on a skit about growing up and family dynamics, and we have the same sharp characters.

Visually it looks terrific – in an age where animation reaches for the stars it does take something special to give audiences a wow factor – and the mind-blowing, shape-shifting Lego builds here never cease to entertain.

This is also sharply written in terms of dialogue – a relief as the basic story isn’t much – and the witty one-liners come at such a zippy rate it’s almost impossible to keep up. One chuckle leads to another.

Another strong point are the film references – a sign of how much cinema culture has seeped into our collected imagination, of how it is still the premium vehicle of pop culture. From Mad Max to Indiana Jones, Star Wars to Die Hard, films have shaped how we embark on creative play as children.

The Lego Movie pays homage to this, while reminding us the glorious imaginative world children inhabit – before the crustiness of adulthood beats the wonder out of our souls.

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