Everything is Awesome: A Review of The Lego Movie

Published: Feb 11, 2014 18:24pm EST
By shaunmerritt, Entertainment/Sports Writer for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 11, 2014 @ 06:37pm EST

 

Like so many others, Lego sets were an essential part of my childhood. Even now as I have gotten older and started a family, they are still a part of my life. When I heard there was a Lego movie being made, I was very eager to take my kids and see it. Simply put, this movie is fantastic. Even my kids loved it. Everything about The Lego Movie is awesome!

In case you do not know anything about the movie, here is a brief description of it from Warner Bros themselves:

"The LEGO (R) Movie" is the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO (R) adventure. The original 3D computer animated story follows Emmet (Chris Pratt) an ordinary, rules- following, perfectly average LEGO mini-figure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

The most enjoyable part of this film is the visuals. If you are a fan of Lego, you will love how much effort was put into making the entire film look like it was made of real Lego bricks. If you have grown up playing with Lego sets, you will notice some of your favorite sets and pieces. There are a couple of scenes were certain aspects were clearly done using CGI, but otherwise you would be very hard pressed to identity which scenes were not animated using Lego bricks. The animators took special care to make sure that if something did move like a Lego in real life, it did not move that way in the movie. It was a nice touch that comes across very well on screen. 

The biggest strength of the film is with the characters. While most movies of this genre focus on a single or small set of characters, this movie gives equal time to over a dozen. So many ensemble movies fail because the characters are either underdeveloped or so boring that you have no interest in them. The Lego Movie characters are presented in such a humorous way that you can’t help but pick a favorite or two. My personal favorite is Liam Neeson as Bad Cop / Good Cop. He has this pension throughout the movie when every time he gets angry, he starts kicking chairs. He does this so much that eventually they start hitting people and his henchman start running from him as he gets angry. It just had me rolling every time it happened.

There are also other funny character traits that will have you giggling. Batman is obsessed with sound systems, Vitruvius being blind, and Benny the 1980s astronaut not getting to build his old spaceship is hilariously dragged out in the movie. Add in some cameos from other sets like Westerns, Knights and Dragons, DC Superheroes, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and even NBA All-stars like Shaquille O’Neal; and you have one heck of an ensemble cast. The fact they were able to fit so many characters in this 100-minute movie without any singular character overshadowing the others is simply amazing.

However, if there is one thing that tends to stand out most, it’s the ending.

 SPOILER ALERT (skip ahead to avoid spoilers)

The big finale in this movie takes an abrupt turn with a plot twist that is both surprising and heart warming. We learn that events that we see playing out in Lego world are being in fact, a young boy simply playing with his father’s Lego diorama. A battle over how to build Lego sets between a father and son is really what this entire movie is about. The father (Lord Business) wants to glue them together and showcase them while the son (Emmet and the master builders), wants to mix and match them. There are a few moments to which the movie cuts back and forth from the real world to the Lego world as all this plays out. In the end, the father decides that playing Lego with his son is more important than keeping them nice and neat. It’s a touching moment about how you should be creative and use your imagination, the very core of what Lego is all about. It had a Toy Story 3 vibe in where you see someone lets go of their childhood connection to a toy so that someone younger can enjoy it too. If you have kids with Lego sets, you will really relate to how this plays out.  

 END SPOILERS

If there is one major part of this movie that you will not be able to forget it's the “Everything is Awesome” song. You will be hearing that song in your head or listening to your kids sing it for at least a couple weeks after seeing this movie. It’s catchy, fun and addicting all at the time. Normally I am not a fan of films that try and push a song on you because they want you to buy the soundtrack, but this one fit so well in the movie that it didn’t bother me one bit. It’s even a punch line in the movie talking about how some people love it and others hate it.

Now as good as this movie is, it is not without its faults. There are a lot of jokes that will easily get missed by kids. Not because they are adult themed, but rather they are a play on words and situations that kids will not understand. For example, there is a subplot to which Lord Business has collected a bunch of relics from the real world. He pronounces all their names wrong by putting the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable (kudos if you got that). The adults found it hilarious but it was totally lost on the kids. There are also references to older movies that young kids wont get and slams on unpopular or controversial Lego sets. They are quick and simple, but I noticed that there were quite a few mixed in. It’s nice to have something for the adults to enjoy but was a little put off when I was laughing and my kids were not.

Lastly, the theme/message of the movie really confused me. We are presented with Emmet being average and part of a team. The movie makes a point to say that this is bad within the context of the movie. This confused me because as the movie plays out, Emmet needs to think for himself and become creative. However in the end, to defeat Lord Business, everyone needs to work together and be themselves, exactly what Emmet was doing to start with. It’s hard to really understand where the film makers were going with this, but it reminded me of Monsters University where cheating and getting kicked out of college didn’t really come across as bad. I know kids will not notice this, but as an adult/ parent, it bugged me to a small extent. None of this ruins the movie, but its something that I wish they clarified better.

So, should you go see The Lego Movie? Yes, and bring family and friends.I would even go as far to say its a must have on Blu-ray when it comes out. Adults will enjoy it, kids will love it, and even those who are not fans of Lego sets will find it entertaining. Its a visual treat to watch and will have you rushing home to build some Lego sets. Simply put, The Lego Movie is awesome!


 

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shaunmerritt
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