It's been five years since everything was awesome, but now the citizens of Bricksburg (Will Arnett, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks) are now living in a gritty dystopia after repeated attacks from aliens from the "Sistar System", led by Queen Watevra (Tiffany Haddish) and General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) has left their world in ruins.
If you haven't yet experienced the first iteration of 'The Lego Movie' - and really, by now, you should have - none of that plot synopsis will make a bit of sense. In fact, so much of 'The Lego Movie' and its appeal was in just how unusual and innovative it was. When it was first announced, the general thinking was that trying to make a movie out of Lego was a recipe for disaster. Instead, what we got what was a truly well-crafted story about inspiration and creativity.
It's sort of ironic, then, that out of 'The Lego Movie' came two spinoffs - 'The Lego Batman Movie', which worked well, and 'The Lego Ninjago Movie', which didn't. Both embraced the animation style set forth and its ability to layer a real-life story underneath the wacky, self-aware action that's become the hallmark of the series. 'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part' follows the same path laid out before, but adds a different piece to set itself apart - musical numbers.
What was a minor part of 'The Lego Movie' initially and grew to become a huge success was 'Everything Is Awesome', the infectiously catchy number by The Lonely Island and Teagan & Sara. 'The Lego Movie 2' instead opts to turn the proceedings into a garden-variety musical, with whole segments of the movie taken up in dance pieces with Lego and Tiffany Haddish's metamorphising character taking the lead.
It's effective, as Haddish's innate comedic sensibility bursts through the Lego and makes itself known in her very first scene. Likewise, Stephane Beatriz as General Mayhem is adept at playing a hard-ass, like her character Diaz on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'. Chris Pratt's infectious enthusiasm is still there, as is Will Arnett and Elizabeth Banks now shouldering the comedic moments more readily than before.
All in all, it works well - but is it as good as the first one? No, but that's actually OK. The first one really was groundbreaking, in both its animation style and its ability to fuse a coming-of-age story with a self-aware take on its own existence. 'The Lego Movie 2' obviously can't rehash the same thing again as it'd merely defeat the purpose of its own existence. Instead, they opt for an entertaining mixture of musical comedy and self-effacement, and that's more than enough to deserve your time and money.