Published on February 7th, 2014 | by Joseph Saulnier0
The Lego Movie
Could The LEGO Movie just be considered one hour and a half long commercial for a children’s toy product? Absolutely. Does that make the movie any less entertaining? Nope! I grew up in the eighties. A time when toy manufacturers would make TV shows, mixing up entertainment with advertising in the tender minds of their youth demographic, and doing it well. We seem to be in a new age of that very same ethos of ultra-marketing, only now we have the internet to exacerbate the matter. That all said, The LEGO Movie is perhaps one of the cleverest, funniest, and perhaps most creative films I’ve seen in a long while. It’s enjoyable, fresh, and seems to celebrate with reckless abandon the joyous chaos of childhood play over the blind consumption of product.
The comforting, self-aware, almost self-deprecating tone that has found its way into the LEGO videogames that have been hitting the markets lately that defines The LEGO Movie. The film takes place in a world made of LEGOs, and the characters all have snap-on/snap-off hair and can merrily disassemble the world around them and build again from the ruins. And while it’s not filmed in stop-motion (which was more disappointing than I thought it would be), the characters have the pleasantly stiff and jerky movement that is the trademark to the style. It’s essentially a film with the rules of a young boy at play, just making it up as things progress.
Even the story felt like it was straight from a children’s book. An average, run-of-the-mill, Joe… well, Emmet (Chris Pratt) falls unsuspectingly into an adventure involving freedom fighters, superheroes, and villains in a very Matrix-esque plot. When he stumbles upon the legendary Piece of Resistance, the only force that can undo the Kragle, a mysterious weapon being used by Lord Business/President Business (Will Ferrell), Emmet begins his journey to fulfill the prophecy and become the best “master builder” in all the world. Along the way he is helped by a plethora of recognizable, and not so recognizable, characters including Batman (Will Arnett), Shaquille O’Neil (Himself), Vitruvious (Morgan Freeman) and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks).
Most children’s films these days, especially in the CGI genre, tend to be lighting fast paced, basically overloading you with unfunny material hoping to distract your from how lame the movie really is. While The LEGO Movie is frantic, it feels like controlled chaos. It has a point. There is a direction where all this weird wild silliness is headed. And while The LEGO Movie would be fine were it just a frantic and clever child’s comedy, it additionally bothers to reach beyond its bounds and address its own artificiality in a plot twist that was way more clever, daring and meaningful than anything seen in most modern adult thrillers. But I don’t want to spoil that for you.
So here it is again, my “Would I buy it” test. Absolutely. The LEGO Movie is great fun and a joyous celebration of the chaos I recall as childhood.
4.5 stars out of 5.