It’s been five years since writer-director duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord surprised the world by delivering a fun, witty, and at times, emotional film about LEGO bricks in The LEGO Movie. The seemingly impossible task (I mean, really — did you think a movie about LEGO, those little bricks that make so many of us adults cry out in pain after accidentally stepping on them, was going to be good? Exactly.) was not only super successful but it cemented Lord and Miller as a secret weapon for both animated and live-action comedies (the two had previously worked on Cloudy With Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street). The duo returned to the world of LEGO for the sequel, this time as writers-producers, joined by director Mike Mitchell (Trolls), for The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. And they knock it out of the park.

 

In Bricksburg, “Everything Is Awesome” as Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy a.k.a. Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Unikitty (Alison Brie), Batman (Will Arnett) and crew have defeated the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) and discovered that Emmet is the prophesied “Special” they had been waiting for. When the DUPLO toys come to attack (or you know, the kid sister is allowed to play, too), Bricksburg soon becomes a LEGO dystopia and the team learns how to survive in their everyday doom. Five years later, and Bricksburg has become Apocalypseburg, and while everyone has grown up a little bit, albeit more distressed and bitter, Emmet is still happily daydreaming of a home with Lucy and blissfully ignorant of the many reasons why his happy ending might never come.

The arrival of General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) changes everything as she kidnaps Emmet’s friends and takes them to her boss, ruler of the Systar System, Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish). All alone, Emmet embarks on an adventure to save his friends, and possibly, himself.

The LEGO Movie 2 not only meets the high bar the first film set but in many ways, it goes a step above. It’s hilarious, smart and, well, just an absolute delight. Here are three reasons why you should be planning your next movie night with LEGO.

1. There’s A Whole LEGO Universe Out There (And New Music & Characters, Too)!

World building is key for any franchise to thrive, and boy does LEGO 2 deliver. The Systar System, where the story takes place, holds many worlds, characters, cameos and more. The world beyond the former Bricksburg includes more than classic LEGO sets, but also LEGO Friends, DUPLO, several Warner Brothers properties, DCEU hero cameos, and even a hilarious cameo that I won’t spoil here. Not to mention, Beatriz and Haddish’s characters are a delight. They are smartly-written characters who are fun and far more interesting than your average baddie. You never know what they are really up to – are they good or bad? Hmm… well, there’s a song in the movie to help you figure it out…or not!

Speaking of songs, there are several new songs, including two updated versions of “Everything Is Awesome”, and “Catchy Song” which I dare you to not walk out of the theater humming.

 

2. The Story Will Make Everyone Nostalgic For Their Childhoods

One of the best things about the film is not just the use of one of our favorite childhood toys, but rather, how the script allows us to recall that sense of wonder, and all the emotions we experienced as kids. The two kids in the movie, Finn (Jadon Sand) and Bianca (Brooklynn Prince) are different ages, which offers two different perspectives on childhood. Finn is nearing his teens and Bianca is the little sister trying to hang on to her favorite playmate, and role model — her big brother — just a little longer. Without being too preachy, it also takes a look at the unique ways children play, especially siblings. As the oldest of three, I definitely related to Finn wanting his space, but at the same time, I looked back at all the times I chased my younger siblings out of my room and wondered if they were just trying to hold onto me by annoying me, too (if you two are reading this, no you still can’t borrow my stuff!). But, even if you don’t have siblings, it connects to that place that existed for a brief moment, that tiny window between childhood and adolescence, where everything was indeed awesome, and the world was still wide open and waiting for you.

Phew – that went deep! But you see what I mean? This isn’t just a movie about LEGO bricks.

3. A Unique Take On Girl Power And Tackling Toxic Masculinity

Perhaps my favorite part of the film, however, is the subtle take on girl power. Without giving away too much, Wyldstyle initially views certain other women as the enemy. She learns over time that she was wrong to mistrust them and that by helping each other, they save the universe, as well. Women are more powerful than they know and they’re even more powerful together. That’s a strong statement considering too many movies like to pit women against each other. Lord and Miller also created a story that takes on toxic masculinity in the best way possible- by showing that empathy and kindness are what truly make the mini-fig.

Overall, I thought it was better than the original, fun for all ages, and I cannot wait to see where the franchise goes next.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part hits theaters on February 8th. Buy your tickets here with Atom Tickets!

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