THE CAPITAINE CINEMAXX HAS WATCHED – THE LEGO ADVENTURE : SECOND PART * SPOILERS *
Surprise success of 2014, The Lego Adventure succeeded in, despite a sketchy concept, seducing the children and the adults by using a plethora of charming and flamboyant characters as well as a whole lot of stars and celebrities the public is fond of such as Justice League, Star Wars or The Lord of The Rings. The cheerful and colored musical aspect of the optimism’s theme opposed to despair in the dark times are as much elements that contributed to the glorious future of The Lego Adventure.
And the Warner Animation didn’t wait very long before offering to its
« golden egg » a sequel : The Lego Adventure 2 which have been directed this time by Mike Mitchell (Shrek 4 and SpongeBob SquarePants 1&2) instead of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. A minor worry because Mike Mitchell’s animation movie didn’t really transcend me. Nonetheless it appears to be resourceful, enthusiastic and whacky.
The Lego Adventure 2 : A kids’movie, really?
Just like the first one, It’s often difficult for me to believe that The Lego Adventure 2 is exclusively a kids’ movie and sometimes for adults as the direction from Lego asks to have cinematographic and televisual knowledge.
The really present meta-humor and the references are quite difficult to get for the people who don’t have a big knowledge on the licenses and the characters’ stories (Green Lantern), the famous items (the DeLorean, the Tardis…), the old Batman movies and their actors (Val Kilmer, Georges Clooney, Christian Bale) or the Die Hard saga since Bruce Willis took again the role of John McLane in two little yet really funny scenes. We can also note the reference-jokes around Rex’s character – protector of the galaxy and raptor trainer – dubbed by Chris Pratt. If we don’t know who Chris Pratt is (Guardians of the Galaxy/Jurassic World) of course it’s quite normal not to get all the references to his filmography.
Luckily, this animation movie doesn’t just put meta-jokes one after another without any interest or purpose, and that’s the strength of this saga : it doesn’t fall into an outrageous humor with useless references. The kids will like the other many and generous moments of the saga both regarding the visual ant the scenario.
But the absence of famous characters of the 7th art is also noticeable. I couldn’t spot any Star Wars hero, or Harry Potter characters in this second opus whereas C3PO, Han Solo or Dumbledore were in the first movie. A character named Gary Potter, cousin of Harry Potter was supposed to make an apparition (contrary to Lary poppins) but for copyright reasons, this improbable cameo couldn’t see the day. Too bad!
Mike Mitchell, Phil Lord and Chris Miller could have go further in the meta craziness, especially with a little reference or tackle to the Marvel Studios – despite all my love for the Marvel productions – however they might have been forced to do things so their choices are understandable and respectable regarding the quality of the The Lego Adventure 2.
We can also like the fact that the Warner didn’t forced some apparitions like Harley Quinn (anti-hero the Warner is betting a lot on for the future years), the super-villains of the Suicide Squad which interest from the public is reduced (and they might understood that) or the Justice League, emphasizing on new heroes : Lucy, Unkitty the Unicorn or even Benny, even if the last two have minor roles in this new Lego adventure.
To try and please the adults, The Lego Adventure 2 used a dynamic tone throughout the movie and even since the exposition sequence, a Mad Maxian / Post-apocalyptic vibe where all optimism disappeared; but also at the end which is quite violent for an animation movie when Rex unveils his true nature. A diminished violence, of course, with the comical situations (Ex: The sequence where Emmett and Rex are bare-handed fighting under the tumble-dryer), that come and break up this feeling of fear the kids may feel which could ruin this movie destined, after all, for their own happiness.
The Lego Adventure 2 even has an intelligent and surprising scenario. The multiple twists (the Duplos are nice little Legos, Rex appears to be the major villain in the movie, etc…) are unexpected and, personally, I didn’t see anything of that coming, maybe because I was too much into the movie and its incredible, catchy and thrilling musical.
Small detail regarding the scenario, I think the switches between the real and the fictive life are not working the same way it does in Toy Story (even if the humans are 3D animated characters, but the principle is the same). Those scenes are clumsy and poorly brought-up in the movie despite their quite good link to the Lego story. I am also not persuaded of the necessity to integrate real-life scenes; the movie is self-sufficient and can exist without those scenes.
The Big Craziness
I was telling that at the beginning of the review, The Lego Adventure 2 is very meticulous in its scenic-composition, Mike Mitchell has the sense of details and uses the set with a rare intelligence, developing to their maximum his ideas without making any concessions.
Among the 2 best examples :
- The city of Brishburg and its many cyborgs, sewer babies, kitten, etc…
- The scene where Emmett show Lucy his new house with the many unusual rooms.
The Lego Adventure 2 or Lego : Batman 2 ?
If the scenario is almost fully-mastered, it is sometimes disturbing on two aspects: Batman’s role in The Lego Adventure 2 and Emmett’s behavior.
Indeed, and that’s the feeling I had during the first movie, Batman’s role is too big and that to the point where we can ask ourselves « Am I watching the sequel of The Lego Adventure or a Lego : Batman movie? ».
I must admit that Batman gives us a whole lot of truly hilarious meta-jokes (about him or not), and the song dedicated to him is undeniably funny. However, the real hero if this story is Emmett and not Batman despite all the love we can have for the Dark Knight.
Finally, if Emmett’s character is sympathetic and touching, his jovial behavior is sometime a bit boring, especially in the more serious scenes.
As a conclusion, The Lego Adventure 2 is a bit under the first opus but remains nonetheless an excellent sequel. The production is precise, the scenario is clever, the humor mastered, and the characters keep evolving in a noble and chivalric manner. The friendships and the love are getting stronger in this musical-like movie sometimes cute, sometimes burlesque, and sometimes tragical and critical.