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Darned as brilliant as its predecessor, “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” is a psychedelic, witty, fast-paced romp that’s sure to delight all ages, particularly those who loved the original so much.

The show starts with a nice laugh: The Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group logos are made of Lego bricks.

The movie is set five years later than the first one. Human Finn (Jadon Sand) is a teenager who still enjoys his Lego universe in the basement. His little sister (Brooklynn Prince) irks him when she plays with his beloved Legos.

In Bricksburg, the city inhabited by the Lego folks, things aren’t going too well. Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) sees the dystopia around her that is pretty much ignored by the happy-go-lucky Emmet (Chris Pratt,) who still seems to think that everything is awesome.

“Emmet, you've got to stop pretending everything is awesome. It isn't,” Wyldstyle tells him. “Yeah, I get it,” Emmt says. “That's why I cultivated a hard-edged side that's super-tough and … look! Look! A shooting star! Make a wish!”

Emmet even builds Wyldstyle a beautiful home to prove to her that parts of life remain awesome. But that doesn’t last long.

This time around, they face an alien invasion of cutesy toddler Duplo blocks and meet up with a mysterious Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) and an army from the Systar System. The queen seems suspicious to Wyldstyle, especially since Her Majesty keeps singing a song about she’s not evil at all.

Emmet meets a new friend, the tough, handsome Rex Dangervest (also the voice of Pratt), who tames dinosaurs and whose acts of derring-do enthrall Emmet.

When Emmet must act to save his friends, he must act quickly. Is he brave enough and strong enough to be a hero?

Screenwriters Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who directed the first movie, feature clever wordplay throughout the story, which includes more nods to pop culture. I like the continuing competition between Superman and Batman, for example.

There is quite a bit of music sprinkled through this — it really could be considered to be a musical. “Catchy Song,” with T-Pain and That Girl Lay Lay, is an absolute hoot that’s almost as much fun as “Everything is Awesome” from the original film.

Like the first movie, you’re liable to need a second screening to ensure you’ve seen all the visual jokes, with nods to the likes of “Mad Max” and cameos that include Aquaman, and heard all the smart dialogue.

If you take your kids, be prepared: They probably will want to expand their own version of Bricksburg with some of these characters.


Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.