A big round of applause to The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part for entering the “animated sequel cinematic toxic masculinity commentary” universe for young children series, joining alongside the ranks of the Academy Award Nominated Ralph Breaks The Internet! Ah yes, The Lego Movie 2. The long anticipated wait is finally over, and thankfully, it lives up to the hype. Admittedly, we didn’t need a Lego Movie 2 to begin with. The ending of the original was perfectly adequate as it was, with a fun little twist cliffhanger and maniacal Duplo aliens to top it all off.
In the years since the original, we’ve gotten plenty of Lego-produced films including the relatively fun albeit forgettable Lego Batman Movie, and the flunk that was The Lego Ninjago Movie. Now, it’s 2019, the near end of the decade. We’re at a time where cinema is about to change, where each film leading up to the 2020’s, becomes more relevant with each passing day. Films are time capsules, and the more we analyse film, the more we can learn about the culture of an era. In the spirit of the previously mentioned Ralph Breaks The Internet, The Lego Movie 2 serves a purpose, regardless of it’s all to muddled first and second act.
The importance of the Lego Movie 2 comes down to its characters and messages. The universal concept of love and friendship is admirable from the perspective of a young toddler. When we look into the psyche and psychological effects of media and entertainment on young children, there’s a significant part of their childhood, where they specifically learn from said origin of media. Regardless of screen time, and regardless of play time, the children of tomorrow will eventually be solely influenced by the actions and self-promoting of others. Characters such as Emmet and Wyldstyle aren’t just there to be fun comic reliefs, rather role models of flawed individuals.
What I particularly like about The Lego Movie 2, is that it doesn’t overly pander to children, with it’s messages about being yourself, and to not conform into the various gender roles that society expect us to be. These messages can come off as preachy to some, but in the context of the film, the vapid pace, silly action scenes, and hilarious gags, tones down this thematically tense message, into something digestible and entertaining for children to learn from.
As we closely move into the 2020’s, we’re obviously, as a society, going to leave things behind, and take what’s of merit into the future. The Lego Movie 2 is the perfect send off to an era, one of populated pop culture and toxic tribulations. It’s a film that’s equal parts charming as it is important. It’s a film about the youth of tomorrow, which also somehow features Bruce Willis as a lego figure and Lego Batman flossing. It’s silly, it’s fun, but at the end of the day, unlike most children’s entertainment, this will be preserved for a while, just like the original, as it should be.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will open Nationwide on February 8th