Double Review: The Lego Movie 2, The Second Part & Green Book

I’ve decided to mix things up. Having gone to see two movies on back-to-back days this weekend, I didn’t have the time to write a review between seeing them, so why not throw them together into one post??? Maybe I’ll learn why here… But I did see two films: The newly released sequel to 2014’s breakout hit The Lego Movie (earning back it’s entire production budget opening weekend in the U.S. alone, and grossing nearly 8x as much during its worldwide run), and Green Book (re-released/expanded in many theatres after acquiring 5 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture). Obviously these are very different films, so I’m going to break them down separately, but may it please the readers to know that I did enjoy and would recommend both.

So the first film of the weekend was The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, and for as redundant and silly as the title is, the movie was even more. But I still recommend it? Yup. They didn’t quite hit the note that rang out in the first movie, but this one still had enough to hold my “inner-child” attention. Chris Pratt is so good in his Lego Emmet role, and he even takes on a dual-appearance as he also voices Rex Dangervest. The supporting cast, namely Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett are back, in addition to landing the ever-popular Tiffany Haddish. They each have their moments, including a Lego romance that I think delivers some good laughs, but unfortunately takes away from the film’s overall message of remembering that people change, but it’s still okay to just be a kid sometimes. Sadly, as good a message as it has, where the movie suffers is in the over-abundance of repeating the fun of the first movie. This movie has more of everything, and at times it hit much too fast with one joke after the next to really appreciate them fully (I’m going to start referring to this as the “Prattquel Phenomenon,” as it was also the case in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). If they end up making this franchise a trilogy, I really hope they get back to the magic of that first film.

Fortunately, Green Book didn’t make the same mistake as the prior film, as the jokes were well-balanced with the tone of the movie. I really enjoyed director Peter Farrelly’s choice to depart from his typical comedies like Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, and the critics haven’t given this move enough credit. I suggest you go see it for yourself before it wins a couple of those awards its nominated for. Viggo “Aragorn” Mortensen no longer looks like he can lead the battle for Middle Earth (he gained 45 pounds and a beer gut for the role), but he doesn’t need to here, as his character Tony Lip’s main job is to keep pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) safe as he tours through the deep south of the 1960s. Ali really shows the courage and ambition of his character to shed light on a culture of segregation, as there are parts of his performance that brought many in my theatre to dry their eyes. On a separate note, what a great few years he has had! Moonlight, Luke Cage, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and now this role. Wow. But back to the film…just go see it. The characters’ friendship is what ultimately takes center stage, and the actors push this true story into the spotlight of 2018 films.

That’s my take on my double-feature weekend, and I hope the vibe of this review aligns with my previous posts as I left my computer at work and thus am doing this one completely from my cellular device. And it feels much different. I don’t like it. But I hope you don’t mind, if there’s any other way to tell 🙂 Let me plug the Academy Awards, which air in just two weeks, and I’m finally going to see If Beale Street Could Talk this week, so watch for that review. Cheers!

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