In movie terms, Legos have been building blocks of another kind.
In a way, it was surprising that the first animated “Lego Movie” took so long to happen. Look at how long that toy not only has been around, but at how popular it’s been for generations. “The Lego Movie” was expectedly successful enough to yield some spinoffs – one centered around a Lego version of Batman – but now there’s an official sequel, rather logically titled “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.”
Original writers Chris Miller and Phil Lord are back, so it’s to be expected that this edition will have a very familiar feel. The gaming rivalry between two real-world siblings sets up the premise, with Chris Pratt back as the voice of construction guy Emmett – and also as a new hero named Rex Dangervest, whose skills come in very handy when the regular Lego gang faces off against a planet overseen by a queen voiced by Tiffany Haddish.
Batman (voiced once more by Will Arnett) comes into play again here, as do the Lego takes on other legendary heroes, and the film eventually takes on the feel of everything being thrown at the wall to see what sticks.
That’s not to say the picture doesn’t have its fun moments, with a voice cast that also includes such other returnees as Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum (as Superman), Jonah Hill (as Green Lantern), Cobie Smulders (as Wonder Woman) and Will Ferrell. And, having also inherited another iconic role as the current M to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, Ralph Fiennes is back from “The Lego Batman Movie” as manservant Alfred.
The fortunate thing for the Lego movie series is that it can make its own rules. After all, it’s generating a world of its own, no matter how many links it has into other established areas such as the DC Comics universe. At the same time, with each film it puts forth, the Lego franchise has to stay true to its own world as fans become that much more familiar with it.
“The Lego Movie 2” advances that reasonably well, while also including “Easter eggs” that reference situations from the preceding pictures. Sure, it helps to have seen those films … but these are Legos that we’re talking about, after all, so you won’t exactly be left at sea if you don’t have those earlier movies as reference points.
In the end, “The Lego Movie 2” doesn’t fall apart – but at the same time, it’s not unfair to say that it’s a bit overconstructed.