Ever build a Lego set and think you did a great job until you compare your concoction with the box? That's "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part." It's a brilliant creation by any comparison except for the films that preceded it.
"Really good" may pale in comparison to "super amazing," but if you can live with the disparity then this is the sequel for you.
Reassembling most of the pieces from the shockingly successful 2014 original and the even more hilarious "The Lego Batman Movie" (2017), adding in a few exciting new ones, the follow-up excels at fan service and joke volume.
There's no way you can lose with a voice cast of Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Tiffany Haddish, Will Arnett and Elizabeth Banks, each allowed to flex their comedic muscles.
The burden of "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" is proving that it needs to exist when it clearly is a superfluous as a post-shower bath.
The filmmaking team accomplishes the task by zigging instead of zagging, hurling itself freely into the self-evident awareness of its pointlessness.
It adds an emotional core of a live-action sibling rivalry subplot that tugs at the heart blocks.
The setup involves the struggle of a girl's attempts to get her Lego-obsessed brother's attention by kidnapping characters and crushing his elaborate buildings. Her creations manifest as cutesy villains, the leader of which -- voiced by
Haddish -- seeks to hold a grand wedding with... (gasp!)... confirmed playboy bachelor Batman.
Pratt voices both Emmet, the meek, upbeat hero of the first film, as well as Rax Dangervest, a raptor-training space cowboy who mocks all the action roles the actor has played.
The film is packed with inventive songs, the best of which comes in the end credits. Sticking with the meta setup, that tune is about how great the credits are.
Even as you watch the rollicking finale, you get the sense that something was missing.
Did the movie make you laugh as hard and frequently as the ones before? Nope.
But is it still funny and entertaining enough to stand on its own? Yup.
"The Lego Movie 2" is perhaps one too many trips back to the well, and it stands to reason that the next time around, the filmmaking team will have to think more outside the blocks.
RATING: 3 stars out of 4.