The Lego Movie Review

The Lego Movie Review

**There’s a few minor spoilers but I’ve kept them to a minimum***

It’s funny, fast and FULL ON.  

We are all a bunch of Lego nerds in this family, and went to see The Lego Movie last weekend. The “Everything is awesome” tune is still in my head. Everything is awe-some!

The Story

The story follows an as-ordinary-as-you-get construction mini figure called Emmet (Chris Pratt). The movie begins in a Lego city world where everyone has their job, knows their place and follows the instructions.   This makes for a well ordered happy city, or so it seems.  The opening scenes are about as slow paced as this movie gets. Hang…on.

Overpriced coffee anyone? Awesome!!

overpriced coffee anyone? Awesome  - The Lego Movie

Emmet stumbles upon The Piece of Resistance (a red lid) which the Master Builders (free-thinking-non-instruction-following mini figurines) believe will stop the Kragle (super glue). Behind this plan to freeze the Lego Worlds with Kragle is Lord Business (voice by Will Ferrell), the control freak leader who wants everything to be perfect.  In fact, Lord Business keeps all the figures from different worlds (sets) – Wild West, Castle, Star Wars — apart so they can’t interact.

Along the way, Emmet meets feisty Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who dubs him mistakenly as ‘The Most Special Person in the Universe’, and they join other Master Builders on a quest to stop Lord Business and his right hand man, Bad Cop (Liam Neeson).  

With Bad Cop always in tight pursuit, Emmet and Wyldstyle execute the Lego World Saving Mission with arrogant Batman (Will Arnett), pretend-wise Vitruvus (Morgan Freeman), a-little-too-positive Unikitty (Alison Brie) and my personal favourite, uber-keen Benny: the 1980 Something Spaceship Guy (Charlie Day).  Then there’s appearances from Superman, Green Lantern dude, Robin Hood, a cyborg Pirate, a random mermaid, Wonder Woman, Abraham Lincoln and more. Yep, it’s a riot.

Will they save the Lego Worlds in time? Does ordinary Emmet have what it takes?

Some of the Master Builders

The Master Builders - The Lego Movie

The Animation

The animation is wonderful, and I was pleased to see it looked like real Lego. I know that may be an odd thing to say (of course looks like Lego!); I’ll give a few examples to explain what I mean:

  • When Emmet and Wyldstyle ride horses in an adjacent world, Wild West, the horses move with fixed legs, just as they would move if a child was playing with them.
  • Water is made up of blue animated round Lego plates.
  • Hair moves, not by waving strands but by the entire hair piece moving.

I was thrilled the animators stayed true to the functions of real-life Lego. It made it even better, and cooler. Awe-some! There are many such instances of this throughout the movie, subtly reminding the audience about the fundamental function of Lego: it’s about the marriage of creation and play.  I was impressed with the balance between the realistic shapes and movement and the excitement of the lighting and animation. A clever, clever combination.

Great lighting in this city car scene

The Lego Movie Wyldstyle Emmet Car Scene

The Adults

As I sat in the theatre, being visually bombarded by the awesome wonder that is Lego, I remembered lazy Sunday afternoons where my big sister and I spent countless hours on the floor playing with our Lego Castle set.  If you enjoyed Lego as a child, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a deep sense of nostalgia in revisiting pieces of yesteryear. There’s just so much Lego in this movie. Ha!

There’s this particular ghost scene, and I suddenly remembered the ghost figure in the castle set we owned! I had forgotten about it! My sister and I thought it so cool because it glowed in the dark! GLOWED I tell you!  

The humour is witty; the comic timing: HIL-AR-IOUS, and my husband and I found ourselves laughing  genuinely throughout the movie.

From The Husband: I love Lego…so when I found out they were making the Lego Movie I was more excited than Big Kev!  The laughs, action and fun just keep on coming, it is a great movie to share with children with plenty of one liners and pop culture references to keep the adults happy.

The Kids

The movie kept all our children (6.5, 8, 10, 12.5) entertained throughout.

I asked them: What did you like most about it?

Mr 6: When Batman says, “I only work in black, or very, very dark grey.”

Miss 8 : When the Unikitty showed up.

Miss 10: The humour.

Miss 12: Benny, the Spaceship Guy. I loved how he was just so excited to build a spaceship.

Benny, the 1980 something spaceship guy

The-Lego-Movie-Benny-the-Spaceman

Reservations

The movie is full quick wit and I like that.  However, the pace and the relentless constancy of the humour took away a little from the story line and the effect of the animation.  You are here, and then, boom: there; and boom: change of pace; surprise here; sudden dialogue there.  

Although the story line is quite strong, and the character development surprisingly good (surprising because there are SO many minor characters), I felt the movie was driven more by the next moment, humorous situation or line rather than the story.  I would have appreciated a few poignant moments during the movie for the story line to take firm root;  I wanted to fully appreciate the intricacies of the animation but didn’t get the chance.  I left the movie somewhat exhausted rather than uplifted, if that makes sense.  That said, there is a deep undercurrent of emotion that’s pulled together at the end. 

Another mention in this section is the violence (the movie is rated PG). It’s not particularly scary (it doesn’t take itself seriously enough); however, there is a fair amount of gun shooting and explosions, plus a head-only scene (which is actually really funny).  None of it is gruesome but personally, I would hesitate taking young children.  In terms of niche age, I thought the movie better suited to my older two children.

A minor thing I found a little annoying was the light-hearted relationship between Batman and Wyldstyle and how Emmet slot in right at the end.  The moment felt fabricated for me. I don’t think the Batman/Wyldstyle boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic was necessary and added anything significant to the story because there wasn’t enough time to develop the sub plot properly (in my opinion).

Wyldstyle, Batman & Emmet

The Lego Movie Review - Batman & Wild Style

Last Word

There is a lot to like about this movie. It’s a celebration of Lego and play. It’s about imagination and creativity. It’s clever, quick and witty. It’s FUNNY!  Somehow The Lego Movie is both nostalgic and nonsensical. It doesn’t take itself too seriously while still retaining an emotional undercurrent.  With so many one-liners to choose from, there’s something for everyone to take away and repeat randomly and often for months to come.

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Comments

  1. says

    A great review , we saw it yesterday – I will link to your review.
    The ending took me by surprise :).
    I want to see it again because as you said it was so fast paced. It is a great movie and I can see the one liners and Everything is awesome being very popular.

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