The premise allows for the introduction of some new characters, including Tiffany Haddish as Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, ruler of the Systar System, who is planning a “matrimonial ceremony” that’s ultimately central to the larger plot.
The principal innovation in the film — directed by Mike Mitchell, from a script credited to producers (and former directors) Phil Lord and Christopher Miller — stems from the more ambitious and generally clever musical numbers, including one playing off the “Everything is Awesome” song that promptly embedded itself in everyone’s heads.
“The Second Part” doesn’t entirely settle for the same-old, same-old model, weaving in a key theme that owes a debt to the “Toy Story” films, mainly in the idea of kids growing up and leaving “childish things” behind.
Still, the madcap nature of the exercise — and narrative road map that the earlier movie provides — can’t help but make this incarnation feel less inspired, for all its colorful irreverence, before rallying a bit at the finish.
All good animated movies operate on multiple levels, providing the kind of visuals, action and humor that can beguile children while tapping into deeper ideas and concepts that resonate with those responsible for squiring them to the theater.
“The Lego Movie 2” tries to touch each of those bases, and with the comfort of the previous hit under its belt, the producers deserve some credit for not phoning it in; still, while all the pieces are there, it’s just not as adept at putting them together.
“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” opens Feb. 8 in the US. It’s rated PG.