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It’s safe to take the kids to see The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part: The PG-rated film has little bad language (“heck” twice), one instance of borderline innuendo, and a message (“You have to find your own way”) easily corrected. But ask your kids afterward what the movie was about, and they’ll probably only say, “It was cool!” A plot and a plot twist gradually emerge from the mania, but it takes a saint’s patience to piece it all together. Like those complicated Lego kits, I suppose.
The story picks up years after the events of 2014’s The Lego Movie. Duplo invaders are destroying Bricksburg. The alien Duplo queen kidnaps Lucy (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), Batman, and other friends of Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt). Although the spunky Lucy has rejected Emmet’s romantic overtures because he’s too much of a nice guy for her taste, Emmet sets out to rescue her. Rex Dangervest, oozing (toxic?) masculinity, shows up to help Emmet “change for the tougher.” Emmet must save his friends before the queen’s wedding, which will usher in “Our-Mom-Ageddon.” But not everyone is who he or she seems to be.
In the (live-action) real world, Finn and his little sister, Bianca, aren’t playing together nicely. Their selfishness manifests as calamity in the Lego world.
I think I got all that right—the narrative’s design tested my saintliness.
Like the other Lego films, Lego 2 aims to capture a broad spectrum of viewers. The popularity of the plastic brick toys makes the Lego movies a sure hit among youngsters, and abundant pop-culture references largely appeal to older viewers. (The opening-night Lego 2 showing I attended consisted almost entirely of 20-something males who were having a lot of fun—more than I was.)
Few of the nonstop one-liners and sight gags are sidesplitting, but they do speak of a script pored over and polished. My favorite moment came when Lucy, crawling through an air duct, encounters (in a nod to Die Hard) a Lego-version Bruce Willis.