The Lego Movie

[For the record, this article was completed after the recording of the “recommended viewings of 2014” podcast.]

Everything is awesome! Or, at least that’s what Emmet Brickowski would like to believe.

Yes, I’m talking about the Lego Movie. Having gone into my first viewing after only seeing a trailer or two, and not reading any summaries, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect besides nostalgia and hilarity. Well, it served up both of those things, and a good bit more.

The-Lego-Movie

The movie opens mid-battle, between the wizard Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman), and Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell). As Vitruvius is nearly defeated, he recites a prophecy about a “Master” Lego builder who will save the world. Skip forward a few years, and things have calmed down quite a bit, to the point where there’s vibrant utopian city life. Everyone follows “the instructions”, a reference to the classic booklets containing step-by-step illustrations that come with most Lego sets. Along comes Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) – a rather plain construction worker minifigure who’s sole purpose in life is to fit in with his coworkers and garner their approval. One night he notices someone moving around the work site after hours, and decides to follow them. It turns out the woman is looking for something called the “piece of resistance”, and tries to warn him off her trail. Following his refusal and a tumble through the earth below the construction, a piece of something (very notably not a Lego) gets stuck to his back. She identifies it as the item she seeks, and declares him a “Special” minifigure.

This movie rated unbelievably high on the nostalgia meter. Anyone roughly “Generation Y” or older (and possibly some younger) will remember having bins at home, filled with randomly sized and colored bricks that they could use to their imaginations’ content. We remember the evolution of the minifigures, and the introduction of more and more specialized building sets. As such, it’s very easy to see this story from both the league of specials’ point of view, and that of Lord Business. That all being said, there are several levels the movie runs on, and children will get a very different experience out of it from the adults who watch it with them. Even people who were never really into Legos will likely find something to latch onto, whether it’s the story itself, or the mass of memes it’s riddled with, or the surprise twist at the end. It’s the kind of movie I wish I would have been able to share with my grandfather.

Musically, there isn’t much variation. There’s a lot of repetition of the song “Everything is Awesome”, and most of the rest of it is background music. That’s actually okay, though, because it drives home the drone mentality that the average minifigures are accustomed to. On the other hand, the film is visually stunning… and it can’t afford not to be. The audience has to be able to see every piece of every build, and the animation team really delivered. The first part of the closing credits is even proper stop-motion.

Please go see this movie.

Rating: 6th Gear

[If you have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future article, please don’t hesitate to email me at Sara at otdt.net.]