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Lego Movie 2 review: captures the creativity of child’s play

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The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a return to form for the Lego franchise, bringing back all of the quick-fire jokes, unexpected cameos and quirky one-liners The Lego Movie (2014) did so well. In addition to this, it builds on the original to teach children an important message about growing up and learning to share with others.

Lego Movie 2 picks up right at the end of the first film. Bricksburg has been invaded by Duplo monsters who are wreaking havoc on the city. Fast-forward five years and the mini figures are still locked in a long battle against the monsters. Bricksburg has been worn down to a Mad-Max style apocalyptic wasteland, aptly renamed ‘Apocalypseburg’. Emmett (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and the gang from the first film, must band together once again to defeat the Duplo monsters and restore their home.

The Lego Movie 2 incorporates the ‘real-life’ sequences seamlessly in comparison to the clunky inclusion in The Lego Movie. This part of the original film didn’t quite work, feeling stuck-on at the end and not integrated well enough into the mini figures’ narrative. This time, however, these sequences are a welcome element, clearly illustrating how the journey Emmett and his friends go on is motivated by the real-life children who are playing with them.

The Lego Movie franchise is unique, in that it’s not actually about toys, but play. This film flawlessly captures the creativity of child’s play. The mishmash of parts and pieces from different playsets come together to create one mega-city, populated by unorthodox characters such as Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), who embraces the multiple ways Lego can be manipulated, transforming throughout the film into everything from a pony to an octopus. The Lego Movie 2 gives us an insight into a child’s wondrous imagination and projects it on the big screen lovingly.

The animation is astonishing and the attention to detail is impressive – you can even see where the printing on the mini figures has been worn away from play and stray fingerprints on the bricks. It’s a welcome return to an ‘all-lego’ animation style, for example, the water is made up of thousands of transparent blue bricks, abandoning the ‘real’ look of the water in The Lego Batman Movie (Dir. Chris, Mckay, 2017).

Whatever hasn’t been built from bricks, is created with items from the children’s world. The solar system Emmett travels through is made up of craft materials, the guards at Queen Watevra’s palace hold cake pops as staffs, and the film cuts to shots of Lego spaceships hanging from fishing wire, flying in front of a painted background. These little touches simulate how children really play and ground the film in their world.

The newest character Rex Dangervest (Chris Pratt) has some funny moments, particularly with the ‘Oompa-Loompa-like’ raptor slaves who run his spaceship. However, his scenes don’t quite match the pace of the rest of the film, missing the snappy comedic tone of the scenes at the palace. Although this is just a minor quibble, the film quickly moves on and picks up the pace with its witty sense of humour.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part does a tremendous job of building on its predecessor and visualising its primary message about creativity and play. There’s rarely a down moment, with constant laughs and catchy musical numbers to keep the film entertaining for children and adults alike.

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