Movie Review: The LEGO Movie
Feb 08, 2014 1:33 am
by Joe Meno
It was a couple of years ago that the LEGO Movie was announced, and in the time since, I was a bit concerned about the production. The LEGO Group was going through a cycle of disappointments, including the shuttering of the LEGO Universe game and the DesignbyMe custom set creation website. A movie was a nice idea, but how was it going to be made? What was the story? With the information that slowly came out as production continued, there were a few spots of brightness (cute animation), but still a lot that was a mystery. With that mystery, I was a bit worried.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. The LEGO Movie was a movie that had something for kids and adults and most importantly, has a heart. TLM could have been a cash grab, but it was a heart tug. For those who do build, it’s also a love letter.
The movie follows the journey of Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt), a minifigure who is a normal, plain person in his universe - in this case, a real LEGO Universe. After an accident while chasing Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), he is mistaken for the Special, the minifigure that could stop the villain of the movie, Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from dominating the universe. But to do that, he needs to journey….
The characters he meets along the way are all different and fun, or funny (Batman, voiced by Will Arnett)), ranging from the wise mage Virtruvius (great name and voice, by Morgan Freeman) to Unikitty, (Allison Brie) a unicorn-kitty. Really. The bad guys are robots and Bad Cop/Good Cop, (Liam Neeson).
The places he visits are areas based on LEGO themes, and are all well-realized, from a Western land to a, um…video gamey land to a city. In terms of design, the movie was astonishing. Everything looked LEGO-built…well, almost everything.
The plot moves at a brisk pace, and is surprisingly deep. You see, EmmettbecametheSpecialwhenhegotthePieceofResistanceandistakenbyWyldstylewhowastheMasterbuilderwhowaslookingforthelostpiece—fromthereEmmettandWyldstylegotoliterallyanotherrealmtoseeVirtruviusandtosavealltherealms…got it? That’s should give you an idea of how fast it is. The jokes are flung just as fast, so keep a sharp eye and ear. Also, keep an eye on Batman during the movie, and an ear at the end. He’s a musician. A Bat- er, bad one, but his song at the end is hysterical.
Families will initially be taken in by the worlds and characters, but by the third act, the plot changes to something much more thoughtful. At that point, the movie becomes a rumination and then a celebration of what makes the LEGO brick so special…the brick is more than just a toy. Literally. And how we play and create with it is MUCH more important.
That realization makes the movie a delightful movie to watch. See the movie, and see it with your family. And then see it again, to catch all the visuals you missed the first time!
BrickJournal 28 will have a look at the set designs behind the LEGO Movie - it'll be out in March!