The LEGO Movie 2 was slated for early screenings yesterday, and as such, we now have critics and movie goers sharing their two cents whether or not the sequel lived up to its expectations. It was quite a surprise that Warner Bros opted for an early screening in some select locations ahead of the film’s general release on February 8. My bet is that WB is somehow banking on the positive reviews and buzz that the sequel’s early screening will generate. So did it really earn the accolades of critics? Let’s find out with this collection of LEGO Movie 2 spoiler-free reviews coming from across the internet.
Just to be sure, I steered away from spoilers so you can guarantee that the links I included here will not lead you into spoiler land. Nevertheless, knowing how the audience and critics saw the film provides us with insight on how this sequel is related to its predecessor.
First off, we have Germain Lussier writing for io9. He says “The LEGO Movie 2 is a hilarious, clever, emotional sequel – though it takes a little bit to get there.” Perhaps this is due to the fact that after five years since the release of the first LEGO Movie, audiences are now accustomed to the unique style of story-telling spearheaded by the first film. Other LEGO inspired films such as the LEGO Batman Movie and the LEGO Ninjago Movie may have somehow given audiences a feeling that this is just ‘another’ LEGO movie. But then again, seeing how the narrative of the real-world characters of Finn (who is now older, with a slightly different approach in playing with LEGO pieces) and his younger sister, Bianca ‘should’ play with LEGO bricks is an interesting plot to see.
This particular strain on how one should play with LEGO was perfectly illustrated in the first LEGO Movie, especially between that of an adult collector and builder who is adamant in following building instructions (portrayed by the character of the father, aka the Man Upstairs), and that of an imaginative child (as portrayed by the younger Finn) that would explore all possibilities of play using the LEGO brick. However, the LEGO Movie 2 now shifts the conflict on a whole different level: with Finn’s more ‘modern’ and ‘mature’ treatment over his LEGO collection, and that of Bianca’s more avant-garde approach in building. The only question is: which approach to LEGO play is better? According to Variety’s Peter Debruge, begging the question makes the LEGO Movie 2 a bit shaky. “The Lego Movie 2 ought to have raised the bar, and while it’s faster, denser, and jam-packed with all sorts of catchy new songs (including one, ‘Catchy Song,’ that’s insidiously engineered to get stuck inside your head), all that energy only goes so far to cover for the wobblier foundation on which this film is built. At the most basic level, it was a bad call to treat li’l Bianca as a villain when what she really represents is an extreme case of Finn’s own approach”. The complex question of how one should play with LEGO is perhaps something that was too difficult to tackle for the sequel. There is no prescribed formula on how one should creatively play with LEGO pieces, and this is something that the LEGO Movie 2 is expected to have explored more.
William Bibbiani from IGN also shares his verdict on the LEGO Movie 2, giving it a score of 7.5 out of 10. “The LEGO Movie 2 isn’t quite as funny or as brilliantly executed as the original, but it’s an ambitious, likable sequel. Kids will enjoy it and adults will appreciate that the filmmakers took it seriously, and tried to say something meaningful. Just don’t think about it too much, because the LEGO universe is often weird and confusing.”
Writing for Vox, Todd VanDerWeff gave the film a 3 out of 5 rating sharing that, “Unfortunately, ‘pointless, despite some solid moments’ describes too much of The Lego Movie 2, a film with its heart in the right place, some great gags in its head, and an inability to make anything connect beyond individual jokes or plot points. I had a good time watching it, but I could always see the filmmakers just offscreen, holding up the big table the Legos were scattered across, sweating and straining to keep the whole thing from toppling over.”
Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 92% on its Tomatometer, an average of 7.2/10, with a critics consensus saying that “While it isn’t quite as much fun as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part fits neatly into an animated all-ages franchise with heart and humor to spare.”
As I mentioned earlier, I think this is a common problem with sequels: its predecessor is sometimes so good that it’s a bit difficult to have a sequel overshadow its success. Just to be clear and fair, I haven’t seen the LEGO Movie 2 yet so I will put a brake on my personal comments. Just like with the first film, I’m sure that Warner Bros and the LEGO Group have children in mind when they came up with the LEGO Movie 2. For sure, all the gags and comedic scenes all have their usual endearing LEGO brand of humor, but it seems that the overall theme of the story did not have the same appeal as that of the first film.
So what do you think about these LEGO Movie 2 spoiler-free reviews? Do you think the critics are right with their assessment? Share us your spoiler-free comments below (in case you have seen the film the already).
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part will arrive in most theaters in the US and rest of the world on February 8, 2019. For more information about the LEGO Movie 2 tie-in sets, please visit shop.LEGO.com.