★★★ ½

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, finds a familiar bricked story in the plastic technicolor comfort zone continued from the first film, thanks to writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and director Mike Mitchell (Trolls) who deliver a fresh batch of hilarious puns, boisterous musical numbers and action-packed characters.

The story takes place mostly in Bricksburg, the happy town where Emmet (Chris Pratt) went from construction worker to heroic master builder. Five years have passed and Bricksburg is now more of a post-apocalyptic hell. However, Emmet maintains his cheery outlook with his trusted friend Wyldstyle/Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) who finds herself well-suited to the new environment. Also included in their gang for this journey are Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day) and MetalBeard (Nick Offerman).

This time, the threat is revealed to be shapeshifting DUPLO Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), who kidnaps the gang to forcibly attend her wedding to a very reluctant Batman (Will Arnett). Lucy finds herself in particular peril and must be saved, which lends way to the introduction of some new characters such as Rex Dangervest (also Chris Pratt), the macho opposite of Emmet.

In the live-action aspect of this movie, siblings Finn (Jadon Sand) and his sister Bianca (Brooklynn Prince of The Florida Project) are gamers at each other’s throats. Their brief scenes alongside their mom (Maya Rudolph) are intended to put a pause on the action and gently insert a few real-life lessons, which are mirrored in their play world.

The humor is fast and sharp, and the animation (directed by Trisha Gum) is superb. Although it is not as colorful and well-composed as the first LEGO movie, it’s still incredibly entertaining. It would have been great if Batman had more screen time due to Arnett’s superb performance, but then again he’s already got his own movie. Wyldstyle benefits from a stronger role this time around, advocating on behalf of little girls being just as strong as boys and fully capable of being master builders in any world.

Be prepared to have a new soundtrack of catchy tunes trapped in your head just as “Everything is Awesome” was in the first installment. Overall, this is an enjoyable film in the ever-lengthening line of LEGO adventures.