The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part Review: A Creative Flick for an Unenthusiastic Audience

Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team! At least, it was in the first LEGO Movie

Now, things have changed drastically five years in the future, especially since the outer space invaders of LEGO DUPLO have taken over their home of Bricksburg. It seems the entire LEGO world has succumbed to bitterness, negativity, and chronic brooding. All except for Emmet (Chris Pratt) that is, who still maintains the same cheerfulness and optimism as he did in the first movie. But when Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), and his other friends are kidnapped by those same LEGO invaders, Emmet embarks on an epic journey to unknown worlds that will test his maturity in this adult world.

The LEGO Movie 2 sports the same colorful animation as its predecessor, computer imagery that looks convincingly like stop motion minifigures. The details are magnificent, down to the light reflections and scratches of paint on our LEGO figure protagonists. CGI has come a long way for the animation to look so realistic that people actually think it’s the real deal, and I have enormous respect for those behind the scenes who’ve made that happen.

The same respect goes for The LEGO Movie 2 in general. Even the casual viewer can observe the effort put forth to make this a family fun experience. Take the extensive voice cast for example, which includes many A-list actors and actresses who lent their voice talent for the film. Mix this with self-aware humor and you’ve got some hilarious in-jokes about celebrities like Bruce Willis, who according to The LEGO Movie lives in an air duct. And after Die Hard 5, that’s probably not too far off! Yes, lots of talent went into trying to make this movie as enjoyable, humorous, and creative as possible.

And the honest truth is, I can’t say I’m surprised at The LEGO Movie 2‘s lack of box office success. With countless remakes, sequels, and reboots out, was anybody that pumped up about a follow up to The LEGO Movie?

The LEGO Movie 2 is big on creativity and imagination, and it has a positive message about being yourself and remaining optimistic worked in there too. But, a lot of this is just a retread of the first film, “been there done that” kind of material. I know kids and adults alike will undoubtedly adore the charm and positivity that this movie has to offer, but that’s if they’re even up to watching another LEGO flick to begin with. And so far, the consensus seems to be no.

The Verdict: B

-Zachary Flint

The Lego Batman Movie Review

Coming into the 2017 year, everyone has those movies that they’re really anticipating. Many people I know are excited for films like Spider-man Homecoming, Star Wars VIII, and Justice League. I, however, was pumped for the release of The Lego Batman Movie. As a huge fan of The Lego Movie, I had a strong feeling that this film starring Batman would turn out to be as good as its predecessor. And, as usual, I was right.

The film stars Will Arnett as Batman, the vigilante superhero who loves to be showered with praise by the citizens of Gotham City for defeating villains like the Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). However we quickly learn that deep down Batman feels very lonely and isolated from others. And after accidentally adopting Dick Grayson (who ends up becoming Batman’s sidekick Robin), Batman must now learn to hone his parenting skills and become a dad. With the help of his friends and family, Batman must work to stop the newest scheme cooked up by the Joker and gang.

I would like to start by mentioning how great the characters are. these little Lego figures were given full fledged personalities through the wonderful voice talents of people like Will Arnett and Michael Cera (among many others). Batman has this serious brooding aura that he gives off the whole film, and Robin is constantly being flamboyant and ditzy. After watching the film you can really connect to a lot of the characters personalities, more so than in many live action movies.

I could sit around talking all day about how fantastic the animation was in the film, but I feel even those who were not excited to see this aren’t debating how good it was. The mix of dark overcast sky and bright, colorful action really made the film visually astounding.

The animation for The Lego Batman Movie is not only good, but it’s fast-paced and flashy. The film is like a kid with ADHD who can’t sit down, or stop moving. Movements of the characters and camera angles are all very quick, but they still manage to flow in a comprehensive manner. I wasn’t at any point struggling to understand what was happening. I was able to follow along intently with the amazing action sequences and delightful story.

The humor in this film is pretty clever and hits on a lot of styles of comedy. One of my favorite scenes involves a great throwback joke towards all the previous Batman movies. Alfred Pennyworth mentions to Batman all the times he gets very moody, cuing a Lego montage of every Batman film since 1989. Another great scene is where Batman visits Superman’s home in the Fortress of Solitude, where the 57th Annual Justice League Anniversary Party is happening (without Batman of course). These are just two of the many, many funny as hell scenes in the little Lego world of Batman.

Now, there were many children in the theater during my viewing of The Lego Batman Movie. I’ve always been able to accurately judge how engaging a film is overall by how quiet the majority of kids are in the theater. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the film came on, there was dead silence. I take this to be a very good sign. If the film wasn’t engaging or entertaining, the kids would have been running up and down the isles flinging popcorn into the air.

If you have seen The Lego Movie and enjoy watching it, chances are you’ll enjoy this. The Lego Batman Movie has plenty going for it to entertain both small children and adults. The animation is fantastic, the story simple and humorous, and the characters are beyond memorable. I enjoyed myself so much watching the film that I might have to go see it a second time.

The verdict: A

-Zachary Flint