Written by Logan Welliver. Media by Paul Anderson
“Everything is Awesome.” These are the words that will come from the mouth of just about everybody who sees The LEGO Movie. I am here to inform you that that statement is inaccurate. It is NOT awesome. It is NOT a lot of things. For example, it is NOT just for children and it is NOT made for children. It is NOT a generic story with Legos thrown in. It is NOT boring. It is NOT dumb. And you will NOT walk out of the theater without crying from the sheer joy and laughter of the experience. The LEGO movie may be the greatest and most uplifting thing to ever insert itself upon the silver screen; it is so much more than awesome.
There are two ways to look at The LEGO Movie – from a movie standpoint and from the standpoint of someone who has grown up playing with Legos. If a person walks into the theater trying to separate those two aspects, they will rob themselves of the big picture. The movie draws from the philosophy of Legos. No Lego set is required to be just one way. Legos can be absolutely anything you want them to be, and anything created by anybody awesome.
The LEGO Movie begins by introducing Emmett, the “anybody” of this story. His life is governed by a set of instructions. He leads a simple, uninteresting life. He is also the most seemingly generic character ever assembled. The LEGO Movie is the story of Emmett overcoming his non-creative self to save the LEGO world from becoming non-creative, and he does this in the most creative way.
The movie is entertaining and silly enough to make any child laugh with glee and keep them talking for hours. It also has a depth to keep the child in every adult thinking and pondering their life many hours after the movie has ceased. The movie is marketed to children, but the bottom line is that it’s intended for everyone.
The Lego movie is by far my favorite movie of this year; it charms the heart, while adding depth and logic to absurdity. It is as if a child is playing with the Legos themselves, and that is the heart of this film. It is how a child would tell a story. It is a young boy sitting down with all of his Legos gathered around him, telling a somewhat cliché tale of an unlikely minifigure that determines the fate of the world. This story is filled with fantastic morals and joy.
If anyone needs a movie to cheer their heart and make them feel good all over, then this is the movie is for you. If you’re not looking for that in a movie, this movie is still for you because I cannot imagine anyone disliking this movie. The Lego movie is for everyone and a riot until the very end.
The LEGO Movie gets 500 bleeding feet out of 500.
Hollywood has a long history of taking beloved relics from our childhood and adapting them into big-screen entertainment, with the unfortunate truth being that the final product often bears little resemblance to the source material that our younger counterparts loved so much. Typically we’re left with something that feels like a cheap, hollow cash-in (The Smurfs, Garfield, Alvin and the Chipmunks), or a bloated, special effects-laden monstrosity full of explosions and poor acting (Battleship, Transformers, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra).
So it was with much trepidation that I sat down to watch The Lego Movie, steeling myself for an experience that would be little more than a two- hour commercial designed to drive traffic into the nearest toy store, coaxing money out of the wallets of parents and into the pockets of the Danish toy company. Instead, I was treated with one of the most original, creative and entertaining films I’ve seen in years, which has quickly cemented itself as the first must-see movie of 2014.
Emmett (Chris Pratt) is a construction worker, obediently carrying out his daily duties in accordance with the instruction manual provided to all Lego citizens by President (Lord) Business (Will Ferrell), an obsessive compulsive, maniacal CEO bent on world domination. Think Lex Luthor, but as a complete control freak with less intelligence and more mustache-twirling insanity.
A chance encounter with the beautiful WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks) leads Emmett to the mythical Piece of Resistance, an ancient relic spoken of only in prophecy that can be used to save the Lego citizens from their impending doom. Wyldstyle quickly whisks Emmett away and brings him before the Master Builders, which include the sagelike Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), the manic 1980s astronaut Benny (Charlie Day), and WyldStyle’s boyfriend, Batman (Will Arnett, in perhaps the film’s most hilarious vocal performance). Together, the Master Builders formulate a plan to defeat Lord Business by infiltrating his massive high-rise fortress, using the Piece of Resistance to defeat him once and for all – provided they can escape the clutches of the terrifying Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), Lord Business’ most loyal henchman.
From the opening moments of the film, The Lego Movie fires an endless array of jokes at its audience from seemingly every angle. Writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (who also directed the film) have an expert grasp of the absurd, and they use it to great effect, ensuring that every scene is stuffed to the gills with laughs. Many of the film’s best moments are derived from the fact that the characters, vehicles, and environments are created from Lego pieces: one of the rules established by the filmmakers was that everything appearing on screen must be possible to construct in the real world.
There’s an especially clever twist that occurs during the third act that, if attempted by less talented filmmakers, could’ve easily derailed the entire experience, but Lord and Miller’s pitch-perfect execution makes it work. With lightning-fast wit, a surprising amount of action, and perhaps a bit of attention deficit disorder, The Lego Movie is consistently entertaining from start to finish. It’s a brilliant mix of humor, heart, and creativity, and provides a great foundation to build on.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist at least one Lego-related pun. But seriously, The Lego Movie is fantastic.