- Review by Leo Mayr - May 10, 2019
The first LEGO Movie was far better than any movie based on a toy brand should have been. Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord turned what could have simply been a two-hour commercial into an exciting, visually stunning and genuinely heartfelt film. The movie was spectacular fun, gorgeous to look at and had a surprisingly emotional core that made the whole experience something truly special. Mark Mothersbaugh delivered a fun electronic score that fit right in with the film’s insane visuals and rapid pace. With the exception of Lorne Balfe’s LEGO Batman Movie, Mothersbaugh has scored all of the LEGO movies, including the long awaited Second Part.
What you’ll notice right away is the score’s more orchestral nature. While its predecessor relied almost exclusively on electronic sounds, the sequel takes a more traditional approach with a lot of completely orchestral pieces. Mothersbaugh finds the right balance between humor, action and emotion that the film needed, and delivers a solid yet at times somewhat unmemorable score.
The music is undeniably well-composed. There are some bold orchestrations you’d usually expect in a much more serious live-action movie, and on more than one occasion, Mothersbaugh has really outdone himself in terms of orchestral writing. The score contains quite a substantial dose of electronics, though they’re never as unique and special as they were in part one. Especially in the early moments, the film tries to recapture the feeling of the first movie through familiar sounds, yet the score refuses to fully embrace the sound of its predecessor, so those moments end up feeling quite detached from the first score.
That’s not to say The LEGO Movie 2 is a bad score. The music does a fantastic job at breathing life into the story and the more traditional orchestration makes the film really feel like a big space opera at times. The entire score is an absolute blast from start to finish, reprising a handful of themes from the first film in interesting ways, and delivering some spectacular orchestral action cues. The story’s emotional core is much more developed this time around, even if overall, the score doesn’t feel as polished.
Narratively, the new style was a logical choice. The central character has aged quite a bit since the last time, so naturally the story needed a much more serious tone. Going for a full on orchestral score while retaining some sounds and themes from the first film was the logical choice, yet ultimately, both the movie and score are lacking that special something that made the first film such a fantastic experience. While The Second Part is still an undeniably entertaining experience, it simply fails to recapture the same energy that made the first film so special.