The LEGO Movie hit theaters in 2014 and surprised many with its solid box office turnout of close to $500M on a budget of just $80M. This movie’s success opened the door for Warner Brothers Studios to commit to a larger slate of LEGO-based movies over the past few years. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is directed by Mike Mitchell, who is probably most known for directing the disasters of Shrek Forever After, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. His week resume definitely left me skeptical of how he might attack this movie.
A Comedic Swing-and-Miss
People go to see these types of movies to get a light-hearted, feel-good story that is loaded with cheap comedy and one-liners. There are lots of attempts to get some laughs throughout but most of them really didn’t land very well. I think I probably only laughed 3 or 4 times during the movie. The issue is, where I was looking for clever wordplay and pop culture references, I was given jokes that were clearly directed towards their 15 and under audience.
Don’t Bury the Fun Under the Message
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part decides to address the message of inclusion and working together to make the world great. This is a very popular message to push in the movie industry right now due to our current political climate but it is, unfortunately, starting to seem like we are sacrificing enjoyment to beat on a very, very dead horse. Don’t get me wrong, I am in 100% agreement with the idea that we could all benefit if people of all types could come together to try to make the world a better place for all to get along. But I think Hollywood moviemakers are starting to miss the point of why we come to the movies. Not for a touching message, but for a few laughs. Youtube Rewind received a lot of backlash for being focused on a message and even leaving out some of the biggest names on Youtube. This year’s Super Bowl commercials disappointed in a similar fashion. As shallow as it may seem, the people want to laugh and have fun, but Hollywood seems intent on squashing some of the fun with an underlying message that most of us have been in agreement with for years.
Outside of the above reasons and the fact that I am so done with Tiffany Haddish, the movie wasn’t all bad. It is entertaining enough and has some solid pop culture references that made me giggle a bit. The character development is somewhat interesting as well. However, there just really isn’t much to talk about with this movie and that is reflected in the brevity of this review. I wasn’t super impressed and I would say that overall it should receive a resounding “meh”.