Movie Review: The Lego Movie

lego

Stars: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell

Rated PG for mild action and rude humor, Running time 100 minutes, Action/Comedy

Compare to: Toy Story (1995) meets The Matrix (1999)

Of all the movies made to help sell toys, The Lego Movie is the closest one to combining what sells their product and making something you’ll still actually want to watch.

I imagine many thinking of this movie solely as the former, much like Transformers and the upcoming Ninja Turtles movies are bound to do, but The Lego Movie doesn’t pretend to be more than it is while also playing up to that role of ridiculous kids movie that adults will enjoy too.

Emmet Brickowski is just a regular construction worker doing regular things. His life is so normal, he’s completely unaware that nobody really even knows who he is. But when Emmet is revealed to be “The Special,” the most important man in the universe, and underground rebellion of “MasterBuilders” takes him under their wing to help fight the good fight against President Business and his robot army.

Things get weird.

Things get weird.

Kids and adults will both recognize much of the characters and scenery alike. Of course there’s the characters like Batman and Gandalf who show up, thanks to Warner Brother’s ownership of so many film properties; but there’s also the Wild West scenes that include distinct pieces you may know from when you were a kid, or some of the most generic sets possibly sparking a memory from when you may have played with those same toys as a kid.

Emmet and his fellow townsfolk all use instructions for their own basic lives that are the very same directions included in certain actual playsets. I’d completely forgotten about them until I was watching the movie.

Though I wouldn’t recommend a movie for nostalgic reasons alone. For someone to watch this and not be at least a little impressed with the entire world of Legos brought to life would be a bit surprising. There isn’t a character, object, or environment that isn’t made with something you could buy in stores right now and I say that in an impressed way.

Almost as impressed as Batman (Arnett) is with himself in this movie.

Almost as impressed as Batman (Arnett) is with himself in this movie.

There will definitely be the critics that look at this as one giant marketing ploy and if that was the sole purpose for this movie then I say congratulations. Someone has finally figured out that for your toys to sell and merchandise to move, the movie it’s based on has to be something actually worth watching. Though it’s not like Legos weren’t going to keep selling anyway.

One thing kids won’t care about may be much of the story. While I won’t give anything away, some of the deeper moments may fly over your kids head as they’re waiting for the next over-the-top action sequence to take place but there may be one too many serious moments for them to sit through. Still, even when it’s at it’s slowest, it’s still just funny to see Legos taking to each other. At times, it’s difficult to tell what’s computer animation and what’s stop motion.

Here's concept art for a scene that never made it into the movie. Still, it looks in tone with the final result.

Here’s concept art for a scene that never made it into the movie. Still, it looks in tone with the final result.

What I’ll really be looking forward to is how long it’ll take parents to get fed up with their kids singing “Everything Is Awesome” by Tegan and Sara, the villain’s mind control song. Catchy, sure. Repetitive, you bet. But it’s all done with an awareness the permeates the movie itself.

Positives- Fun, unique idea, kids and adults can watch unlike the recent “Nut Job” which was just hollow.

Negatives- For kids, the themes and slower moments may be too serious

Grade: A-

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2 Responses to “Movie Review: The Lego Movie”

  1. Randy Says:

    We took the kids to see it Saturday night. I was sick of “Everything is Awesome” by Sunday morning.

    But it was a good flick. You are right about how impressive it is to see the Lego animation. Anything to do with water was particularly fascinating to me.

    Also, they must have rummaged through my parents’ attic for that blue astronaut. Mine had the chin piece on the helmet cracked exactly like that.

    • Taylor Says:

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I guess it was a common thing for their helmets to crack. His “SPACESHIP!” scene was pretty funny.

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