Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know the drill...I watch a movie I own, then blog about this.  This time out, we're doing The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.  This is in my notes at May 11, 2019.

When The Lego Movie burst onto the scene in 2014, a lot of people were flabbergasted when it was more than just a glorified toy commercial and instead a really solid movie with a lot of heart.  Mass protests when it didn't pick up an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film.  It went on to spawn two spinoffs:  The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie.  But it looks like the novelty has worn off.  When The Lego Movie 2 came out back in February, it still debuted at number one at the box office, but it failed to meet its financial expectations.  Another spinoff film The Billion Brick Race, was quietly cancelled, and it looks like the Lego Cinematic Universe is now done. 

I think a lot of people just didn't know it was coming.  As I've blogged before, I've taken to getting my Amazon packages delivered to the office, because that's where I am most of the time.  So when my Blu-ray of The Lego Movie 2 was delivered the other day, one of my co-workers went, "Wait...they made a second one?"  Yeah...yeah they did.  It's tough to call it "overlooked" when it opened at number one, but that definitely looks like what happened to The Lego Movie 2

The film opens mere seconds after the end of the first film, when the invaders from the planet Duplo arrive.  Our hero, Emmet, reaches out a hand in peace buy building a Lego heart to offer as gift, but it's devoured and war breaks out.  We then jump forward five years.  The years of ongoing war have turned the bright, shiny Lego city of Bricksburg into the wasteland of Apocalypseburg.  Everybody has adapted to a new dark and gritty lifestyle, except for Emmet, who's as bright and sunny and as optimistic as he ever wise, despite his girlfriend Lucy/Wildsytle trying to get him to grow up and become dark and brooding like everyone else.  Although, Lucy is encouraged with Emmet reveals he had a prophetic nightmare about Ourmomageddon. 

They're interrupted by the latest attack from the SisStar system.  Their emissary, General Mayhem, announces that they've been invited to the wedding of their ruler, Queen Whateva'Wannabe.  When our heroes refuse, they're all kidnapped...except for Emmet.  Emmet decides he finally has to become all dark and gritty like everyone else.  He builds a spaceship and sets out for the SisStar system.  It looks like the journey is hopeless for Emmet, but he's saved by intergalactic adventurer Rex Dangervest, who decides to help Emmet. 

Meanwhile, back at the SisStar system, our kidnapped heroes are quickly lured to the Queen's power, thanks to her series of sinister songs about how she's totally not sinister.  The wedding is to be between the Queen and Batman.  Lucy is convinced that this wedding will bring about Ourmomageddon, and makes her escape.  She eventually finds Emmet and Rex, and together they make their plans to destroy the wedding temple and stop the wedding. 

Lucy fights it out with General Mayhem, and finally sits down and chats with General Mayhem.  Turns out the attacks over the years have been the people of Apocalypseberg misunderstanding their overtures for peace.  This wedding is the only way to stave off Ourmomageddon.  Lucy finally accepts this when she realizes the Queen is the heart that Emmet made when he reached out five years ago.  Lucy tries to convince Emmet and Rex of this, but Rex convinces Emmet that Lucy, too, has been brainwashed by the Queen.  Emmet destroys the temple, and we have our real world break. 

I'm sure you've been able to figure it out by now.  The attacks between Apocalypseberg and the SisStar system are the brother and the sister fighting over the Lego.  Apocalypseberg is because, since it's five years since the first film, the little boy is now a moody preteen, so his Lego creations are dark and gritty and o so mature and grown-up.  And the sister just wants to play with him again.  Ourmomageddon is their mom, played by Maya Rudolph, getting sick of their fighting and taking away their Lego and throwing it into storage. 

It's funny...when I saw this plot twist coming, I started asking myself in the theatres, "So...Will Ferrell was the dad.  Which SNL alum is going to the mom?" 

So everyone is thrown into the endless void that is the Bin of Storage (pronounced stor-AJ), and they figure there's nothing left to do but sing a sad song about how much life sucks.  Emmet and Rex are saved, though, bringing about plot twist #2.  Rex is actually...Emmet from the future!  When Emmet first voyaged to the SisStar system, his ship was damaged, and he was stranded in the UndartheDryar system.  Years of isolation turned Emmet hard and bitter and into the grim and gritty antihero that the citizens of Apocalypseberg wanted him to be.  Once Emmet got out of there, he renamed himself Rex, built himself a time-traveling spaceship, and went back in time to save Emmet and end the threat of the SisStar once and for all.  With his mission complete, he's now going to strand Emmet on UndartheDryar to preserve the timeline and make sure he gets created. 

My favourite pop culture reference:  when Rex builds his time-traveling spaceship, he does so by cannibalizing Doc Brown's DeLorean, Bill & Ted's phone booth, Doctor Who's TARDIS, "whatever SkyNet uses," and a hot tub. 

Back in the real world, the brother finally realizes what a jerk he's been, and re-builds the Lego heart and makes up with his sister.  In the Lego world, this renewed optimism washes over the people of Apocalypseberg and the SisStar system, and they band together to save Emmet from Rex.  Together, Lucy and Emmet stop Rex.  With Emmet saved, that means Rex will no longer exist, and he fades from reality, Back to the Future style.

Emmet:  What's Back to the Future?

Rex:  It's a supercool movie that only grown-ups get to watch. 

There's a lot of jokes like that between Emmet and Rex. 

Ourmomageddon is stopped.  In the Lego world, the citizens of the newly-rebuilt Bricksburg and the SisStar system finally create a lasting peace.  And in the real world, the brother and sister happily play together, as Mom watches and smiles. 

And that's The Lego Movie 2.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a good movie.  It's still a lot of fun and the jokes are really funny.  But, there's a strong case of sequel-itis hovering over it.  You just can't shake the feeling of "Been there, done that."  Some sequels try too hard.  This one didn't try hard enough. 

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