Is everything still awesome?: a synopsis of ‘The Lego Movie 2’
Sam Gutierrez | Tuesday, February 19, 2019
If we had to be honest with ourselves, no one thought that 2014’s “The Lego Movie” was going to amount to anything other than a cheap cash grab. We were sorely mistaken. The movie grossed over $460 million in the U.S. alone and was considered a big contender for Best Animated Film at the Oscars (sadly, the committee didn’t even nominate it). Following the movie’s massive success, Warner Brothers churned out three more movies set within the Lego world, each less intriguing than the last.
Five years later, we finally get a sequel to the original starring Chris Pratt as Emmet and Elizabeth Banks as his edgy female friend, Wyldstyle. The film begins where the last ended. Emmet and his new friends are celebrating their victory over the first film’s villain President Business (Will Ferrell) when strange-looking aliens arrive to destroy their city, Bricksburg. Chaos ensues. Our heroes battle the aliens furiously, leaving the city in ruins. As time goes on, the Lego intruders keep attacking the city, leaving Bricksburg a desolate parody of a city in a “Mad Max” film.
As his whole world changes, Emmet holds onto the positive, optimistic personality for which he is known (annoying his friends in the process). Soon, the aliens arrive for another attack, led by their general, Sweet Mayhem. Once they all make it safely inside, Emmet notices that one of the General’s sentient weapons is caught between the closing bunker doors. Out of compassion for the object, Emmet opens the door to let it escape. Wyldstyle does not enjoy this.
Despite Wyldstyle’s anger, Emmet thinks that everyone is safe until he realizes that his little gesture allowed the General to sneak inside. The General eventually kidnaps all of Emmet’s friends. Feeling guilty for his friends’ disappearance, Emmet decides to journey to the Systar System with his new friend Rex Dangervest (Chris Pratt) to save them.
The film then divides its time between scenes of Emmet training with Rex and expositional scenes in which Emmet’s friends learn why they were kidnapped. Sadly, these scenes are where the movie’s problems start. It’s clear that a lot of effort went into creating the Systar system’s bright colors, glitter and cheesy pop music, perhaps more than the filmmakers put toward effective plotting (especially in the Emmet/Rex plot line).
Luckily, the two side stories merge in the third act as Emmet and his friends realize that the creatures of the Systar System wanted to unite the two worlds by marrying their Queen, Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) and Batman (Will Arnett) in order to prevent “Armageddon.” They do not suspect that Rex’s secret: that he is actually a future version of Emmet who has returned to the past to make sure that Armageddon occurs.
Surprisingly, Rex succeeds. Armageddon places everyone in storage boxes, and sends Emmet under the washing machine to turn into his future self. However, this is where the movie makes a very interesting and thought provoking point. It’s in the midst of defeat that our heroes realize that everything is not as awesome as they thought it was, and that there is a lot of evil in the world. They decide not to close themselves off but instead try to make things awesome amidst all of the troubles they face.
Inspired by these new realizations, Emmet decides to pick himself up and face Rex again. The two clash until Wyldstyle joins Emmet to finish off Rex and return their world to equilibrium.
Communicating a simple yet deep message, “The Lego Movie 2” (though it may not stand up to the first one) is definitely worth checking out.