A direct sequel to the first part, The Lego 2 Great Adventure takes us to meet Emmet, Lucy, Batman and the others in a cheerful, ultra-colourful brothel that can give you a headache. Between omnipresent references and a too light-hearted plot, the new Lego film lacks the intelligence of the first opus. Entertaining, but without breaking any bricks.
Five years ago, Phil Lord and Chris Miller amazed their world by signing The Great Lego Adventure. The film, which seemed destined to be a huge product placement, has in fact proved to be extremely inventive and entertaining for both young and old.
In 2019, his sequel, La Grande Aventure Lego 2, arrives. The film takes us right to where the first part of the film ended, when our little band of Lego came face to face with the Duplo, the little sister’s toys, who have the firm intention of destroying their world. In just a few seconds, Lego 2 plunges us into an apocalyptic world, five years after the events of the first part. The toys have tried to survive repeated attacks by the sister’s glittering army, hiding in a universe that has become a ruined wasteland Mad Max version. At the same time, the characters have hardened themselves in a world that has become hostile. All of them? Not really, because Emmet continues to dream of better days and is always optimistic. It is precisely in this optimism of the main character that one of the main themes of the film is portrayed, namely maturity. Indeed, Emmet must quickly harden, and by extension the boy who controls him, Finn, must mature.
The foundations of the Great Lego Adventure 2 are laid when the sister’s toys burst in for the umpteenth time and kidnap the first episode’s clique, including Lucy. Furious, Emmet will then try by all means to save his companions, leaving alone to face the world from above and free his friends and his sweetheart.
Source: @Warner Bros
This is usually one of the most crucial points that make a good animated film: double reading. The first part brilliantly grasped this principle, delighting youngsters with its simple plot, design and frantic rhythm as much as adults, adding references to pop culture at any cost. In short, it allows the whole family to marvel in the dark rooms. The Lego 2 Great Adventure always has this double reading, but some features are so forced that they make the film complicated to follow. The scenario is shaky, and the rhythm, as frantic as ever, ends up dispersing us.
Source: @Warner Bros
For children, the story quickly becomes complicated to follow, and the many musical scenes are not as memorable as the “Everything is Awesome” in the first part. A song soberly titled “The Song That Will Get Stuck Inside Your Head” doesn’t hold back that much after all, even though I came out of the cinema with the cult song from the first part in mind. Some songs have so many references that children may not necessarily understand.
While trying to reproduce the mayonnaise of the first part, this suite often falls flat. Too many references, sometimes repeated over and over again (Batman), end up distancing us from the main story. This is precisely where Lego 2 sinks, as its story finally turns out to be quite hollow. It seems that the references are there to make you forget this emptiness, but there are too many of them. While some of them hit the nail on the head, such as the brief (but intense) appearance of Bruce Willis, others get bored with repetition.
Bruce Willis Source: @Warner Bros
For one hour and forty-eight minutes, La Grande Aventure Lego 2 propels us into a veritable deluge of light, glitter and song so that we never lose the viewer’s attention. It’s not boring, that’s for sure, but nevertheless, the unrestrained succession of often very heavy sequences ends up tiring. The general impression is that of a generally rather messy film, which struggles to advance a very (too?) light plot.
With a very simplistic scenario, the first part had managed to reconcile many themes by establishing a sharp criticism of capitalism (represented by the character of President Business) against a backdrop of propaganda, all this to serve us an ode to construction and imagination without limits, the adage of the toy brand. The references, cleverly distilled here and there, made us fully take part in the adventure, which had everything of a brilliantly executed mix between a Toy Story on amphetamines coupled with the corrosive humour of South Park.
Unfortunately, in this second opus, we do not find this intelligence. Like Toy Story 3, La Grande Aventure Lego 2 wants to take us on the path to maturity of Finn, the young boy to whom the toys belong. Unlike Toy Story, where toys have their own will, Legos live only through the story that the child tells, which makes it possible, among other things, to translate the young boy’s thoughts into the actions of the toys. Finn’s desire for maturity is thus portrayed in Emmet’s desire to harden himself at all costs, especially when he meets Rex, a sort of Han Solo version of raptor trainer and dubbed by Chris Pratt. It is from this character that the twist of The Lego 2 Great Adventure comes from, but he is so confused that the surprise effect lacks flavor.
Rex Source: @Warner Bros
Alas, the theme of maturity, so brilliantly executed in Toy Story 3, sounds hollow here, for the discourse and emotion associated with it ends up drowning in a cheerful brothel that ends in a mawkish finale about the relationship between the boy and his sister. If The Lego 2 Great Adventure isn’t fundamentally bad, it’s far from holding up the comparison with its elder. Perhaps the fault lies with its director, Mike Michell, who failed to infuse the magic of the first. After having signed Shrek 4 and Alvin and the Chipmunks 3, the filmmaker was not as talented as Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the explosive duo who had made the first part much more than just a product placement.