• Ben Erickson

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is the fourth film of the LEGO franchise following the original 2014 The LEGO Movie and spin-offs The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie. The powerful metaphor exploring the relationship between father and son that gave heart to the first film makes its best effort to motivate this new sequel, and helping it all the while is a fun-loving score by Mark Mothersbaugh. There are few composers who can navigate the unpredictable nature of these films so superbly, and with seemingly infinite tools at his disposal Mothersbaugh demonstrates once again his ease working with varying styles of electronic and orchestral music, creating a melodramatic backdrop that feels animated even by musical standards. "Apocalypseburg" introduces synth rhythms in the wasteland of the now desolate LEGO world, soon faltering into plucky, upbeat strings and cabasa with Emmet's inextinguishable cheer. Other notable moments include the comedic choral element in "Fresh Nightmare" as Wyldstyle attempts to escape the Systar System, the fast-forward effect heard in "Emmet Saved by Rex / Circular Stairway" as Emmet flies through space and the concussive percussion to follow, and a brief excerpt of Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61 as Batman prepares to marry Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi ("Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi & Batman Falling In Love"). Whether the film calls for suspense, triumph, humor, or grief Mothersbaugh knows just what to say and how to say it, using evolving dubstep rhythms as a catalyst for most major action sequences. It is interesting to think that, before the '80s, a score with such an over-the-top orchestral presence would have "met expectations". Especially through the Hollywood Golden Age many of the greatest treasures in film music were self-defeating for their wall-to-wall interaction with the film. In the case of The LEGO Movie 2 the music is simply eager to reinforce the film, and yet by doing so it has accomplished more than half of the scores written in the twenty-first century, for a movie featuring LEGO characters no less.