The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part wasn’t good. There was enough material to make something that holds up to the original, but even the first movie had a thin premise. So, why take a second trip to the well? What is there left to say about the Lego world that doesn’t invoke the random live-action segments or forced attempts to include every popular Lego license? It’s yet another case of cinematic DLC.
There comes a time when the well runs dry. Yet, you want to give it a break due to the fact that it’s a kid movie. All of you watched kid movies that would mine the thinnest of premises to keep you in your fantasy world. Hell, that second Ewok TV-movie murdered the family from the first movie in the opening scene and then left an orphan girl in the care of Wilford Brimley. This time, a 90 minute movie wants your kids to understand that they girls and boys can play together.
This is a lesson that most learn by the age of 5 or 6 unless their parents are psychos. Before the more woke can dig for studies that support this thin point, let’s slow things down a moment. The Lego Movie 2 doesn’t fail because it wants boys and girls to play together. It fails because the movie hinges an incredibly thin retread on hammering the point home with the subtle pounding of Stanley Kramer mid-coitus. Sorry for that mental image.
Why would a kid movie feel the need to keep hammering a point? Well, you the constant repetition is needed to make a point with kids. Listen to Chris Rock do stand-up, the constant call and return of preferred bits is audience manipulation. Draw your laughs and gasps where you want them, then go back one more time like a preacher looking for that extra push on Sunday morning. Just don’t go to the same church as Chris Pratt or you’re going to make Juno cry.
The subplot of Emmet getting to see his future while also knowing that he can change his future is the kind of backpedaling that is making me hate modern kid movies. Trust me when I say this sore point is going to return sooner than later this month. No one can be made uncomfortable in modern kids’ entertainment and I don’t believe it is the children asking for this. No one cares that Lego Batman and Tiffany Haddish get married in the movie. Unikitty getting a power upgrade is almost inconsequential. However, no real character growth is allowed to happen for Emmet or Wyldstyle.
I appreciated The Muppet Movie style running gag with Bruce Willis in the flick, but it’s patronizing in hindsight. Nothing in the first Lego Movie felt that patronizing. The Lego Movie didn’t have to walk back any progression to find a way to say something that would appeal to an inclusive audience. Hell, the utter fear of showing Emmet that he could survive not going the same way as his friends felt reductive. What was once comical parody with Everything is Awesome has now become the order of the day.
Conform to what your friends want as cooperation is the only goal in this future toyland. Will we get a third movie? Hopefully, as I want to see what comes next in terms of how they handle this emerging universe. Is it necessary? Not at all. But, what kind of kid movie is ever needed? Enjoy what is being present and go from there. It’s still better than that Ninjago movie.