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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is the sequel to 2014's hit The Lego Movie. Like the original, it's a funny, entertaining adventure that centers on Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) and Lucy/Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). This time around, they're defending themselves from mysterious invaders who seem bent on destroying Bricksburg -- and then kidnap several of Emmet's best friends, including Lucy. So you can expect lots of action, including chases, fights, rescues, explosions, weapon use, dinosaurs, spaceship battles, and more. Since everything (and everyone) is made out of Lego bricks, the stakes never feel too intense -- but younger or more sensitive kids might be upset when sympathetic characters are in peril or argue with each other. Otherwise, content is quite mild, with a couple of uses of words like "heck" and "butt" and some flirting between characters (Batman also shows and sings about his pecs). And there are positive messages about perseverance, teamwork, friendship, cooperation, and loving people for who they are, not who you think they should be.
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What's the story?
In THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART, cheery Lego everyman Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) is pretty much the only resident of Bricksburg who's still smiling after ongoing hostilities with mysterious invaders have turned their once colorful town into a Mad Max-style wasteland now known as Apocalypseburg. Emmet dreams of a cozy domestic future with Lucy/Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), but she thinks he's too cheerful and unrealistic for his -- or anyone's -- own good. Then masked General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) arrives, loads Lucy, Unikitty (Alison Brie), Batman (Will Arnett), MetalBeard the Pirate (Nick Offerman), and Benny (Charlie Day) into her ship, and makes off for the faraway Sis-tar system, where Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) reveals her plan for her special "guests." Determined to rescue his friends, Emmet sets out to find them -- but can he make it alone? And, if he does, will they even want to come back?
Is it any good?
It's not quite the lightning in a bottle that its predecessor was, but this entertaining sequel is still definitely better than the average kids' movie. In all fairness, it would have been almost impossible to match or surpass The Lego Movie, given what a delightful surprise that turned out to be. And The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is tons of fun -- it just somehow manages to feel a little bit slower/less snappy, despite the frequent action sequences. But kids will unquestionably be invested in Emmet and Lucy's latest round of adventures, and they'll love the nonstop use of creative Lego vehicles, tools, and other imaginative brickwork. And adults will get a kick out of the cameos (hey there, Bruce Willis); the punchy, pop culture-savvy humor; and the talented voice cast. Haddish is a strong addition as Queen Watevra (her song about not being into "Gotham City guys" is a highlight), and the supporting players are all strong.
The plot has some creative twists, too, and a message about cooperation and getting along that kids -- especially siblings -- will recognize and appreciate. And, believe it or not, the filmmakers manage to one-up themselves in the earworm department. If you've finally gotten "Everything Is Awesome" out of your head, be warned: The tongue-in-cheek (but accurately titled) "Catchy Song" is bound to take its place.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about movies based on toys. How do the Lego movies stack up to other toy-based franchises, like the Barbie or Transformers films? Does watching them make you want to get the Lego characters in the movie?
General Mayhem suggests that Lucy did the bulk of the "save the day" work in the events of the original Lego Movie, calling her a strong leader who was in man's shadow. Do you agree? Does Lucy? Do you think that affects how she behaves in this movie?
What do the real-world characters learn in the end? How is that reflected in the movie's story?
- In theaters: February 8, 2019
- On DVD or streaming: May 8, 2019
- Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Stephanie Beatriz, Tiffany Haddish, Will Arnett
- Directors: Mike Mitchell, Trisha Gum
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures
- Character Strengths: Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some rude humor
- Awards/Honors: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: December 02, 2019
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