The Lego Movie is a wild, noisy, rambunctiously fun film that will delight viewers of all ages. Whether you grew up playing with Lego bricks, are a child now who adores them, or have never touched a Lego in your life, this movie has something for everyone.
The Lego Movie tells the story of Emmett (Chris Pratt), a run-of-the-mill everyman construction worker who lives in the city of Bricksburg, city in a world filled up with and made entirely out of Lego bricks. He is completely ordinary and dull in every way: he likes vapid popular TV shows, his favorite song is called “Everything is Awesome” and he has absolutely no opinions of his own. One day, his boring world gets turned upside down when he accidentally stumbles upon (literally) the Piece of Resistance, part of a prophecy that declare the finder, known as the “Special”, will be the most interesting and important person in the world. He’s joined by a gang of Master Builders, experts in building Lego masterpieces without plans or directions, which includes cool chick named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), to try and stop evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from destroying the orthogonal world they love.
From the first trailer, I knew I was going to love The Lego Movie because of its self-referential humor. Anyone who has ever played with Lego will get a kick out of all the inside jokes and poking at itself. I also enjoyed the various Lego worlds that the film visited. As an avid Lego builder when I was younger, I got a kick out of seeing old Lego play sets from my childhood such as the Lego Castle, Pirates, Space and Wild West. The different bricks and accessories from these worlds make random out-of-context appearances as well, which is nostalgic fun.
The Lego Movie has the feeling that you went into any kid’s bedroom in America, dumped out all the toys in their Lego box and just started playing. There is a wide mix of characters, worlds, and types of Lego. From the 2002 MBA All-Star team (featuring a cameo by Shaquille O’Neal himself) and to Batman, Wonder Woman and Gandalf, you never know what or who you’ll encounter next. And that’s really what makes the film so fun. Just like a child’s imagination, the possibilities are endless.
The movie is not only one of the best animated comedies of the year, but I would say in ten months from now we will be saying it was also one of the best comedies of the year. The humor is all over the place; at times it’s modern and quirky and other times it’s self-referential, pop-culture inspired, and just plain random. Although, The Lego Movie is so fast paced and noisy that many times you don’t have enough time to digest the joke you just heard seconds earlier before they plow into another stream of jokes.
One thing I did really appreciate was how clean the film was. There wasn’t a lick of profanity to be found and the filmmakers selected to use the word “gosh”, which I appreciated. It shows the confidence that the studio had in the story that they didn’t have to fill it with profanity or dumb it down with potty jokes. As a result, the final product was even better than many other pop-culture laden animated films of late.
Speaking of noise, The Lego Movie is loud, rambunctious, colorful and a visual delight. You are going to be exhausted leaving the movie because there really is little downtime to sit back, breathe and take it all in. There is always a lot going on screen, whether it is packed from floor to ceiling with Lego bricks or hundred of figurines are battling it out. You’ll wish you had a pause button just so you can explore every nook and cranny of this brickverse.
The voice acting was superb. Will Ferrell as Lord Business does a spectacular job, as well as Liam Neeson as the sweet and simultaneously frightening Good Cop/Bad Cop. And we can’t forget the always phenomenal Morgan Freeman. However, Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle didn’t really stand out as anything special to me; it may have been because her character was so serious at times. Emmet is a generic, Homer Simpson-esque dummy, so I didn’t really think much of Chris Pratt’s performance. It wasn’t bad by any means; it just didn’t stand out to me like some of the other characters.
The villain is very reminiscent of The Incredibles‘ Syndrome. He doesn’t have any special powers himself and he wants to suppress anyone who shows an inkling of special ability. Will Ferrell even sounds a bit like Syndrome.
At first glance, it seems like The Lego Movie is a blatant attempt to sell more Lego toys. And, well, in a way, you’re right. But the way the film is executed, you don’t feel that you’re in the middle of a big sales pitch. Yes, you may feel a magnetic draw to the toy store and Lego aisle after seeing this film, but in no way is the film disingenuous. Story is principle, not product placement. I actually applaud Lego for putting together a solid, theatrical effort for this new toy-to-film franchise. I mean, if they really wanted to, they could have kept making cheap direct-to-video Lego films much like the Barbie franchise. Going all in really paid for and it will definitely pay off for the brand in the long run.
Go see The Lego Movie. If you still don’t believe the hype, then all I can say is that you need to just trust me on this one. It’s brilliant. It is such a delight of a film that will leave your belly tired from laughing and you grinning ear to ear as you leave the theatre. No prior Lego experience or kids are needed to enjoy this one. People of all ages will find The Lego Movie enjoyable, hilarious, childlike and satisfying.