REVIEW: ‘The Lego Movie 2’ and the theology of ‘Everything Is Awesome’
February 8th, 2019 / By: Michael Foust / comments
Emmet Brickowski is an optimist, sun-is-always-shining Lego character living in a Lego world where everyone else is miserable.
Gone are the times when—as the song says—“everything is awesome.” Those happy days ended five years ago, when aliens wrecked Bricksburg and took away some of the population, too. Emmet’s town is now known as Apocalypseburg, a desolate place where people often argue and no one smiles. Even the Statue of Liberty has been toppled.
That’s OK, though. Emmet still has his friend and romantic interest, Lucy. Yet even she believes Emmet should see the world for what it is, and not for what he hopes it to be.
“You’ve got to stop pretending that everything is awesome,” she tells him. “... We have to grow up sometime.”
Emmet, though, doesn’t believe her. But that begins changing when another alien, the masked General Sweet Mayhem, invades Apocalypseburg and kidnaps a few more citizens, including Lucy. Emmet quickly builds a Lego ship to chase Lucy to the other end of the galaxy. He begins wondering: Maybe everything isn’t awesome, after all.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (PG) opens this weekend, picking up five years after the events of 2014’s The Lego Movie. It stars Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy series) as Emmet, Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games series) as Lucy, and Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie) as Batman.
The film, in essence, is a pretend world told through the eyes of two children in the movie’s real world: Finn and his younger sister, Bianca. At the end of the first Lego Movie and the beginning of The Lego Movie 2, their father allows Bianca to play with the Legos—a decision that upsets Finn, who believes she will destroy them.
Finn’s instincts prove to be true. This explains the destruction of Bricksburg (Bianca did that) and the kidnapping of Lucy and Batman (Bianca took them to her room). It also explains the film’s out-there plot: In the Lego world, Batman is taken to the “Systar System,” where he is forced into a marriage with a chameleon-like alien, Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi. Only a girl would do that.
Here’s the good news for parents: The Lego Movie 2 is mostly squeaky-clean, with no language (not even an OMG) and only Lego-style violence.
Here’s the bad news: It’s not as good as its predecessor. It’s slow at times and, often, downright weird. It also contains a few lines and angles that had me scratching my head, but most of them will go over the heads of children.
Warning: minor/moderate spoilers!
(Scale key: none, minimal, moderate, extreme)
Minimal. Picture a child picking up two Lego characters and “making” them fight. That’s about as bad as it gets. The film does imply punches are thrown, and a few explosions do occur, and a Lego city is invaded, and there are guns with lasers, but it looks a lot like what you’d see in a kid’s bedroom floor.
None. Other than Batman saying he has “ribbed pecs.”
Also, see “Other Stuff You Might Want to Know,” below.
None. The worst we hear is “butt” a couple of times.
Other Stuff You Might Want To Know
One character is called “Larry Poppins”—a knockoff on Mary Poppins. He has a flower on his head. Another character who looks like Dracula says he enjoys wearing women’s jeans.
We hear Z.Z. Top’s Tush and Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart.
One character tells another one, “Just listen to the music and let your mind go.” Someone says he/she has been “meditating.”
The Queen built a “space temple” where the wedding will take place. The wedding is called the “matrimonial ceremony.”
It’s an ultra-goofy movie with few lessons until the final minutes. Still there, are a few. Lucy saves a “bad guy” from dying, displaying mercy. In a scene that borrowed a page from Back to the Future, Emmett faces a bad, future form of himself and declares that he wants to do good. The final scenes also include lessons on forgiveness, repentance, and love between a brother and sister (Finn and Bianca).
Is everything awesome? That’s what we are told in the first movie through a hit song with catchy lyrics: Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team; everything is awesome, when you're living out a dream. It added: Life is good 'cause everything awesome; lost my job, there's a new opportunity; more free time for my awesome community. That’s certainly true, but then the song goes south. Dogs with fleas are awesome. Clogs are awesome. And “everything you see or think or say is awesome.”
Umm … no. Everything is not awesome, even if the song’s positive outlook is attractive. Sin certainly isn’t awesome.
The Bible would tell us that some things are awesome and some things are not.
That’s why the new song in The Lego Movie 2—Everything’s Not Awesome—may be closer to Scripture: Everything's not awesome; things can't be awesome all of the time; it's not realistic expectation; but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try; to make everything awesome.
McDonald’s is a partner. Lego-themed Happy Meals are on their way.
The humor. It’s funny for kids and adults, too, without being inappropriate. The filmmakers also give us plenty of flashbacks to the film’s real word (the brother and sister) to help explain the movie’s quirky plot.
The plot. Sure, the story could have been imagined by a child, but it would have been more relatable had it been a little less weird.
- What did you think of the song Everything Is Awesome? What about the new song Everything’s Not Awesome?
- What can we learn from Finn and Bianca about getting along? About siblings and forgiveness?
- What can adults do to recapture the God-given creativity and imagination that makes childhood so fun?
Entertainment rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor.