The Lego Movie Review
Everything is Awesome!
OK this movie would have had to try really, really hard to get me to dislike it. If I were to sing the Dave version of My Favorite Things the list would include Lego, Batman, Star Wars, stop motion animation, wizards, dragons, pirates, robots, cyborgs, evil geniuses bent on world domination, cowboys, and spaceships and this movie had all those things rolled together. However, even if it weren’t the visual representation of the Dave Skinner box in my head I would still love this film because it is amazingly creative, fun, funny, and in all ways imaginative.
I admit I had my trepidations. I have seen other cherished childhood toys taken out of the box and forced onto the screen dressed up in creepy clothes and makeup like a 5 year old entered into a child beauty pageant by her overbearing mother. G.I. Joe, Transformers, Battleship, Smurfs, and the Garbage Pail Kids are all toys who were touched inappropriately by Hollywood much to my dismay (well, Smurfs was OK, but still. Also they started as a cartoon). Does anyone else remember when toys would come from movies, not the other way around?
Fortunately Lego has managed to create something wonderful without destroying the love of their toys in my and many other adults and children minds. Frequent readers of my blog may well think that Star Trek was the only light in the darkness of my childhood otherwise filled with bullies, fights, alienation, disdain from my so-called peers, feelings of inadequacy, mean dogs, uncaring adults, illegal fireworks, and frequent injury but I can say that Lego was my other life preserver. I would spend hours a day building forts, castles, houses, robots, tanks, cars, planes, spacecraft, and more robots (I really liked robots). It was the one thing my parents got me each birthday and Xmas. I think they liked it because it kept me out of their hair.
If I were to really break it down I guess I could say that Star Trek was the role model that taught me about how to be a decent, honorable, brave human and Lego was where I practiced it. I actually created my own game using dice could occupy myself endlessly with it. Oddly enough I never mixed the two. I never did Star Trek with Lego. I don’t know why.
Incidentally I still have my entire massive collection and still buy the occasional set, just to keep my hand in as it were. Usually a Star Wars set, and once in a while when I’m feeling lonely, bored, or depressed (usually right after getting rejected by someone) I will bust them out and recreate another Battle for Post-Apocalyptic Legoland.
What was I supposed to be doing here? Oh, yeah the movie. Freaking amazing in all ways. Maybe not as top shelf as Wreck It Ralph but the nostalgia value and personal love elevate this film dramatically. As a burned out emotionless husk of a human the times when movies make me feel anything at all are rare gems. Usually the best I can hope for is a fleeting hint of an adrenaline rush of excitement, or a sad moment when someone dies in a noble way. As I left the theater for the Lego Movie I had a big dopey smile on my face and was humming the theme song. I had a bizarre, alien uplifting feeling and suddenly realized the film had made me happy. Even now thinking about it I have a warm feeling in my heart and am fighting a strange impulse turn on some beat heavy electronica and dance in my office.
The story starts off with main bad guy Lord Business (Will Ferrell-Zoolander, Stranger than Fiction, Anchorman) stealing the Kragle, the most deadly item in the Lego universe. Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman-the Shawshank Redemption, Now You See Me, Olympus has Fallen) tries to stop him but gets blinded and Business gets away. Skip forward 8 1/2 years and meet Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt-Parks and Rec, Delivery Man, Her), a Lego construction worker who lives in a happy, controlled city under the benevolent guidance of President Business. He works on a construction site building Lego skyscrapers and singing the main theme song along with all the rest of the city.
As work ends he notices a girl digging at the site. It is Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks-What to Expect when You’re Expecting, Pitch Perfect, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Emmet falls in love with her at first site. While chasing after her he falls and comes across the Piece of Resistance, a mystical item that is said to the the only thing that can stop the Kragle. He touches it and passes out.
He wakes up in a prison being interrogated by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson- the Grey, Taken 2, Wrath of the Titans). He has the Piece of Resistance glued to his back. He gets rescued by Wildstyle, Vitruvius, and best of all Batman (Will Arnett-Blades of Glory, Ratatouille, Arrested Development. By the way, now that I love him in this film do I feel like crap for dumping on his last animated venture the Nut Job? Nope! That movie still sucked). He lives a moment lifted directly from my life when he learns the love of his life has a much cooler boyfriend in Batman.
Honestly I’m not going to go into the whole story as it is super cool and you should all go see it. They travel around meeting a bunch of other Master Builders, including Unikitty (Alison Brie-the Five Year Engagement, Community, the Kings of Summer), Metal Beard (Nick Offerman-Parks and Rec, We’re the Millers, 21 Jump Street), and my personal favorite 1980 Something Space Guy (Charlie Day-It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses, Pacific Rim). The story is surprisingly cool and complicated, the jokes are amazing (keep an eye out for the blade joke), and if you are a fan of Lego from back in the day you will love every second of it.
I don’t do my usual stars and black holes for kids movies. I generally base the reviews on how the kids in the audience were reacting and to a child they were going bat5%$& crazy. They loved it and so did I. Should you see it? Duh. That’s like asking yourself if you should keep on processing oxygen. If you have a soul and enjoy happiness then yes. Yes you should. Date movie? If you bring a girl with a sense of humor to this film and you don’t get laid check your pulse because you might have died a few years ago and have been living on as a rotting zombie. Heck, I think even I could have gotten laid had I had the foresight to bring a girl with me (well, maybe. I dream of one day having the sex appeal of a rotten animated corpse. Dream image courtesy of the zombie t shirt catgory). Bathroom break? Hold it. It’s only 100 minutes and every second is packed with cool stuff. If this is a problem you might want to bring along your Truckers Friend.
Thanks for reading. This film was fun to see and review. Makes me glad I do what I do. Look for my review for for Monument Men tomorrow. I think I am going to have to see Vampire Academy so you can enjoy me projectile vomiting all over my keyboard on Monday. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. Comments on this film or my review are welcome and can be left here. Off topic questions or suggestions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.