Reviewed by: Shawna Ellis
“It is easy to harden your heart. To open it… that is the hardest thing.”
Siblings selfishly arguing and fighting over toys instead of sharing and enjoying them together
How to avoid misreading people’s intentions
Dystopian fiction world—where life is very bad, due to oppression, terror, deprivation, etc.
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
What will the Biblical MILLENNIUM be like? Answer
Chris Pratt … Emmet Brickowski / Rex Dangervest (voice)
Elizabeth Banks … Wyldstyle / Lucy (voice)
Will Arnett … Batman (voice)
Tiffany Haddish … Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (voice)
Stephanie Beatriz … General Mayhem / Sweet Mayhem (voice)
Alison Brie … Unikitty / Ultrakatty (voice)
Nick Offerman … MetalBeard (voice)
Charlie Day … Benny (voice)
Maya Rudolph … Mom
Will Ferrell … President Business / Dad
Channing Tatum … Superman (voice)
Jonah Hill … Green Lantern (voice)
Jason Momoa … Aquaman (voice)
Cobie Smulders … Wonder Woman (voice)
Ralph Fiennes … Alfred Pennyworth (voice)
Will Forte … Abraham Lincoln (voice) (Orville Forte)
Bruce Willis … Bruce Willis (voice)
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|Producer:||Animal Logic [Australia]
Don Bluth Productions
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Warner Bros. Pictures
“They come in pieces”
Prequel: “The LEGO Movie” (2014)
“The Lego Movie” (2014) was a fun, heartfelt film which parents could enjoy with their children. It wowed audiences with beautiful animation, a clever premise and a surprisingly deep message. In going to see “Lego Movie 2: the Second Part,” I was afraid that the filmmakers would deviate from what had worked so well in the first film. I feared cruder humor, an uninventive story and a shallow ending. Yet I came away with a smile and the knowledge that I can recommend this movie with little reservation.
At the end of the first Lego Movie, there was an indication that everything is not awesome in Bricksburg in the aftermath of Taco Tuesday. Invaders from the planet Duplo land in the final scene, and one could sense that the Lego world was about to be altered forever. The sequel opens with brooding voiceover narration by Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), who describes how Bricksburg has been changed into a war-torn wasteland now called Apocalypseburg. It is filled with grim, hardened inhabitants who are just trying to survive.
Emmet (Chris Pratt) is the only resident of that harsh land who still believes that everything is awesome. Lucy and the others can hardly fathom how he has a cheerful attitude, undaunted enthusiasm and compassion toward the enemy in these troubled times, which makes some doubt his toughness and therefore his ability as a leader.
When tragedy strikes, Emmet begins a journey into the unknown in order to save those he holds dear.
I won’t describe any more of the plot, as it is much better to watch it unfold. Set your logic aside for a little while as you do so and just enjoy the adventure as Emmet seeks to be the leader the others expect him to be.
Once again, so much about this film is clever and whimsical. The animation is beautifully rendered with many small witty touches to be noticed. The music (and there is a substantial amount) is often used as a narrative device, but is still catchy and fun. The voice acting is superb, with great performances by returning characters and a few new ones, including the enigmatic Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish). While watching this film, I can’t help but think that everyone involved in the production was having a great time as they brought the story to life. It does not take itself too seriously, but at the same time it once more delivers a serious message about having compassion, growing up and understanding others. It’s a lot of message mixed in with quite a few laughs and plenty of fun action.
It may not be able to quite recapture all the charm of the first, simply because we are now more familiar with the way the Lego universe works, but it is a worthwhile sequel, and I left the theater wanting to see it again. Some have commented that this installment seems to be geared primarily toward children in both its humor and its take-away message, but I am not sure I agree. Pop culture references, clever puns and the actual spoken acknowledgment of convenient plot devices are prevalent, and many of these jokes are geared entirely for adults or teens.
Thankfully the filmmakers have done this with clever writing and not by resorting to crass innuendo, as in many children’s films. A few jokes seem forced and fall flat, and sometimes the change in action or certain revelations can seem a little jarring or illogical. But, even so, there is plenty here to be enjoyed by all ages and refreshingly little content of concern. Never have I taken so few notes when reviewing a movie!
LANGUAGE: This is limited to words such as “heck,” “butt” and “oh my goshness,” and even these are very lightly used.
SEX: Lego Batman is briefly shown shirtless, and the shape-changing queen sometimes takes vaguely suggestive womanly forms and poses. Emmet and Lucy are never said to actually be married, but Emmet refers to them as “special best friends forever” and is building a home for them.
VIOLENCE: This film has comedic action and violence, with explosions, chases, and fights, but this is all done in “Lego style” in which there is never any gore shown. I felt that there was somewhat less peril than in the first movie, but more angst and emotional intensity is shown by the characters.
OTHER: A pun is made about Superman’s enemy General Zod being a “Zodsend.” Characters meet “unthreatening romantic vampires” in reference to the Twilight movie series. The worldview of millions of years is used regarding dinosaurs. Someone mentions that he has been meditating. One character tries to woo another using reverse psychology and jealousy.
While some people may think that this film is making a social commentary on gender roles or “toxic masculinity,” but I did not really pick up that vibe. Although plot elements hinge on whether or not Emmet is tough or hard-edged enough to be a good leader, he is actually already very brave and self-sacrificing. While cheerful and optimistic, he is also decisive and heroic when needed. True manhood is more than superficial appearance, ruggedness or strength, but is also about being sacrificial and willing to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13).
One quote from this film has stuck with me. “It is easy to harden your heart. To open it… that is the hardest thing.” This is true of the characters in this film, but equally true for us. We can become embittered and hardened by difficulties and trials. That’s in our fleshly nature, and therefore very easy for us to do. We will often mistake this worldly “strength” for maturity. But maturity isn’t proven by our toughness or resilience. True maturity and growth comes when we open our hearts by considering others’ needs above our own. This is not in our fleshly nature to do, and anyone who attempts to do this in his or her own strength will find it almost impossible to maintain. Before we can truly open our hard heart to others, we must first open it to Christ who can work that change in us.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.