First thing’s first, there may be some light spoilers to the movie in here, specifically where I’m talking about the sets and how they stack up to the movie towards the end of the review. It looks like some of the Lego Movie sets are on sale, likely to coordinate with the release. There are links to them down below in the review section where I see where they stack up, and it’s a great way to help support the site.
Fun fact about my family: The LEGO Movie was the first movie that my daughter ever went to in a theater, when she was around 18 months old. She was still pretty young, hadn’t even latched on to Duplo yet… but boy, did she love popcorn. Fast forward five years later, and my son was going to his first movie at around 19 months old… The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Unfortunately, the popcorn machine at the theater we went to was broken, so he wasn’t able to enjoy that part of it… but it did serve dinner so he got some french fries and was happy.
His official review of the LEGO Movie 2: “Wooooooooow.”
Sadly, on the box office haul side of things, everything wasn’t nearly as awesome. While it was the #1 at the box office this past weekend, raking in $35 million domestically, it was well below what was expected for a marquee franchise and barely more than half what the original pulled in on its opening weekend. What’s less clear is if the failure is on the movie, or just part of the larger trend of nearly all box office sales being down in 2019.
We saw the movie at 4:45 PM on Friday afternoon, and the theater wasn’t even 1/3rd of the way full. Now, we didn’t go to the most popular theater in town, but that’s still a light crowd for what would be prime time for a kid’s movie. I’m also fairly certain that I’m the only one on the staff who saw it this weekend, and one of only a couple in the FBTB Discord that had gone to see it as well.
Box office performance aside, the movie itself is actually pretty great. Despite the fact that I’ve quit collecting LEGO, it will always have a place in my heart, and has been a part of me for most of my life. The original LEGO movie was simply fantastic, and had a poignant message for adults (and AFOLs, specifically), but also plenty for kids to enjoy as well. Since that came out, we’ve gotten two more theatrical LEGO movies… one is the greatest Batman movie ever made, and the other is a narrowly-focused stinker based on a specific first party LEGO line, The Ninjago Movie.
The Second Part, in some ways, is simply more of the same from the original movie. It’s set five years later, and obviously goes on the relationship between Finn and his younger sister, Bianca. Anyone that had a younger sibling likely recognizes a lot of the things in play here, and anyone with two kids will see how perfectly they portrayed that rivalry and love between them.
I won’t go into the full breakdown of the movie, but it’s both very predictable (the barely hidden reveal of a character’s actual origin) and very surprising (the origin of Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi, the small “original edition” album reveal at the end, and the truth of the sinister plot). Suffice it to say, there’s more than enough to keep you engaged and entertained… but will also say that the special, pun totally intended, of the first movie is somewhat lacking. It’s more familiar, so it can’t really surprise you with what it’s trying to do.
The new characters are interesting, but only two get a lot of time, General Mayhem and Watevra Wa-Nabi. The rest of the time is split between Wyldstyle and Emmet, with most of the other supporting characters given less time. Batman gets a decent bit, Benny and Metalbeard get a few more, and we get our obligatory Bricksburg (now Apocalypseburg) montage of Emmet talking to everyone (twice, actually). But most of those feel like how most of the villains did in the LEGO Batman Movie, part of the joke rather than part of the story. That’s not bad, given that they’re introducing more, but just setting expectations.
That being said, where this movie absolutely shines is with the soundtrack. Sure, the original movie had the catchy-despite-purposefully-being-catchy “Everything is Awesome.” It’s also funny how they positioned “Catchy Song” as the new Everything is Awesome, and it certainly could have been, but it’s not the best one on there.
It reminds me of Frozen… while “Let it Go” got all the playtime, it wasn’t the earworm song on the soundtrack (that was most certainly “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”). Both Gotham City Guys, and what I think should be the official song of 2019, Everything’s Not Awesome, are better songs and incredibly catchy. The visuals in the movie for Gotham City Guys, and the little jokes that make Batman the best character to come out of it, are worth the price of a ticket alone.
Everything’s Not Awesome, though, is an incredible piece of writing. It’s catchy, uplifting, and has the message that’s so critical. “We can make things better.” It’s the song for the brother and sister relationship, and for the general outlook all around us. “Everything’s can’t be awesome all of the time, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try” is a lesson that I try to get to my daughter every single day. It’s the most important lesson I can try to teach my kids. The world can suck, and things can be hard, but that doesn’t mean you stop trying to make it what you want. As far as messages go, that one is awesome. Plus, Benny’s line in the movie is a joke in this son is squarely aimed at parents my age and is my favorite joke in the whole movie.
Rating the Sets
Of course, let’s not kid ourselves… this is a movie that’s crafted and designed to sell toys. Much like the first movie, the sets are all slices of the movie. Out of context, they all seem fun, but let’s look at them in context. Curiously, the majority of the sets seem to be inspired from the first 15 minutes or so of the movie, and there are a lot of things that could show up from later on in the next wave.
10895 Emmet and Lucy’s Visitors from the DUPLO Planet
This is a set that I’m actually likely to buy for my son as a gift at some point. It captures some of the creatures that are at the end of the first movie, and start of this one. There are some quibbles here, like the lack of a heart (and I don’t recall what a shovel or stop sign have to do with it). But the big creatures are fun.
70820 LEGO Movie Maker, 70832 Emmet’s Builder Box, 70833 Lucy’s Builder Box
I’m lumping all of these togethers, as they aren’t really parts of the movie itself, more of inspiration from it for other purposes. They’re all decent looking, but the prices are what make them unattractive in all cases. Pricing sunk the movie stuff last time, and will do it to these… I look forward to seeing them on sales or clearance some day.
- 70820 LEGO Movie Maker from Amazon | Walmart | LEGO S@H
- 70832 Emmet’s Builder Box from Walmart | LEGO S@H
- 70833 Lucy’s Builder Box from Walmart | LEGO S@H
70825 Queen Watevra’s Build Whatever Box, 70824 Introducing Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
These two are interesting, as they are both from the exact same scene, and probably belong all in one set. The build whatever box specifically plays into a major point of the movie, but also doesn’t give an important configuration away. I’d be curious to see if a particular shape is in the instructions or not. That being said, one of the more important configurations is available in another set.
For value in characters from the movie, 70824 is up there, and I’m certain my daughter will want it eventually. It’s a great way to get General Mayhem, and the Banana Guy factors in to some slapsticky jokes at more than one point.
- 70825 Queen Watevra’s Build Whatever Box from Amazon | Walmart | LEGO S@H
- 70824 Introducing Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi from Amazon | Walmart | LEGO S@H
70821 Emmet and Benny’s Fix it Workshop
This is the only set from this first wave that has, so far as I can tell, no basis in the actual movie. We do see some fix-it-up type stuff during Emmet’s walk, but it doesn’t include him (it’s Metalbeard, if I remember right). I mean, a decent setup, but has nothing to do with the movie.
70822 Unikitty’s Sweetest Friends Ever!
This is a weird one… everyone in this set is in the movie, but they aren’t friends of Unikitty… they’re henchmen of the Queen. Fun fact, my daughter owns this set, and loves it, so from her it was a 5 out of 5. But she also thought that the pasta we had at what I could call a middling Italian place in town last night was the “best dinner she ever had,” so take that with a grain of salt.
70823 Emmet’s Thricycle, 70827 Ultrakatty and Warrior Lucy!, 70829 Emmet and Lucy’s Escape Buggy, 70830 Sweet Mayhem’s Systar Starship, 70831 Emmet’s Dream House-Rescue Rocket, 70834 MetalBeard’s Heavy Metal Motor Trike, 70836 Battle-ready Batman and MetalBeard, and 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg!
Okay… that’s a whole lot of sets mashed together, but they are basically part of the same continuous scene that makes up the first 15 minutes of the movie or so. Emmet’s house is a mixture of the start and the aftermath of it, but all of these together add up to it.
Really, the sad part here is that the best figures, the Apocalypseburg version of a lot of the minor joke characters from the first movie, are locked up in one set. That would have been a fantastic CMF line to complement the movie. I mean, they could easily make a version that has half of them in the Apocalypseburg form and half in a regular form… and it would be great.
70828 Pop Up Party Bus
This is an odd one… the ship itself does figure into the movie, but not in this particular configuration. Unikitty also needed a scarf as well, but that version is pretty funny and shows up later. It’s price that hurts this one more than anything… and it’s not exactly memorable. I’ll talk about it more later on what I’d expect to see later on, but this feels like a missed opportunity.
70826 Rex’s Rex-treme Offroader and 70835 Rex’s Rexplorer
Both of these are offshoots of the real missed opportunity of a set, which would be Rex’s actual spaceship. That set is clearly coming, since there was a physical brick version shown in the movie. Neither of these two sets show something that was overly memorable, outside of the Raptors. I’m also sure that the Rexplorer showed up in the movie, but I don’t remember it…
- 70826 Rex’s Rex-treme Offroader from Amazon | Walmart | LEGO S@H
- 70835 Rex’s Rexplorer from Amazon | Walmart | LEGO S@H
70841 Benny’s Space Squad
I maintain that this will be the most popular and fun set, and I’m still planning on buying it (I just haven’t looked for it yet)… but it’s time in the movie is probably 3 or 4 seconds, total, during one of the Queen’s songs. Benny doesn’t get a lot of screen time in general in this movie, so this is one where an awesome set stands on its own, but no one is likely to remember where it happens in the movie.
So What’s Missing?
Like I mentioned above, Rex’s Starship is the most obvious thing that isn’t in the lineup yet. While I don’t know that it has the same iconic feel as Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! (which you want to know a sad set that has retained absolutely no value, go look up what that thing goes for a couple years after being discontinued)… it certainly played into it and is a good looking build.
Beyond that, I would just adore seeing all of the variations that came up during the “Gotham City Guys” song. Most of that stuff has been released in some way, but there’s still a lot that would be great, and you know LEGO could get the license for all the Batman variations.
With Batman and the Queen, there’s also a lot of options for the event at the end that should be there, and I’d love to get the costume we saw Batman in his more… let’s say, glittery, outfit. Same with the happy village we see Superman and Green Lantern in later on, or any of the escape stuff we get in there.
The one that feels like a miss is the lack of anything around the spa scene that’s in the middle of the movie, and a particular hair variation (and a printed tile that would come along with it that’s record shaped). I mean, we all need more Sparkly-hair vampire minidolls in our life and collections. The Friend’s themed stuff in general is lacking… Duplo and LEGO System all get sets, but the Friend’s oriented stuff only has a few minidolls buried in other sets. This would be a chance to bridge all of the lines.
Lastly, there’s the new Systocalypstar stuff that has the option to do variations on basically everything else that was made. And if being a fan of Star Wars LEGO taught me anything, it’s that LEGO loves to just rerelease color swaps of sets. In the past few years, they’ll do multiple variations at the same time.