The Lego Movie is one of those shining achievements in confounding expectations, the sort of bolt from the blue that makes us reconsider our own biases. The movie reached audiences first as a pitch that sounded for all the world like a naked merchandise-driven cash grab disguised as a kids’ movie, but arrived in theaters as a visually stunning, meticulously crafted piece of social satire.
As with most stories so meticulously crafted, though, it’s difficult to imagine a sequel, especially since there have already been two follow-ups, unified by style and theme but not at all by narrative or continuity.
The Lego Movie 2 (which was subtitled The Second Part in some places, a mirror to the original’s scrapped subtitle The Piece of Resistance) appears to be facing this problem head-on, setting itself in a post-apocalypse brought on by the destruction of the tyrannical order from the first movie, that leaves the Lego heroes powerless to defend their Lego world from a Lego invasion by sinister Lego extraterrestrials.
There’s clearly an undercurrent to the the proceedings, just as there was in the first movie – I’ll leave it to find it out for yourself, either in the trailer or the movie proper. I wouldn’t advise hoping for it to be as resonant or stunning as the first, but it’s definitely something worth emphasizing by turning into a metafabulist narrative about it.
And no, I’m not just talking about casting Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz as the primary vectors of this narrative, although that certainly won’t hurt things.