Sunday, March 16, 2014

The LEGO® Movie (2014)

Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Nick Offerman, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum

Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Synopsis: This animated film brings the childhood favorite LEGOs to life as Chris Pratt stars as the voice of Emmet, an average construction worker who stumbles upon an artifact that could save the universe from the evil President Business (Will Ferrell). Emmet tries to unleash his potential as the very unlikely hero amidst a team of master-builders including Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), and the wise sage, Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), all trying to stop President Business’ evil plan.

Reviewer’s Rating: 4/5 Reels


The LEGO® Movie is an action packed, animated adventure comedy. Its computer animation is meant to simulate a stop-motion picture, which, although at times is harder on the eyes, really makes the LEGOs come to life.

The plot is a typical underdog story in which the main character, Emmet, has the cookie-cutter appearance of most LEGO characters and is by all LEGO standards an average guy. It is not until something draws him away from his daily routine that he stumbles into a grand adventure – one where he is the hero.

There are several themes in the story, but the biggest one is about being special. A prophecy, later found to be fake, stated that there was one MasterBuilder who would be known as “The Special.” When Emmet stumbles upon the Piece of Resistance (a cap) against evil President Business’ weapon of mass destruction Kragle (Krazy Glue with mixed up letters), he becomes the fulfillment of the prophecy – The Special.

However, Viturvius (the wise sage) uses his dying words to tell Emmet that his prophecy was made up. But after Emmet sacrifices his life to save the other MasterBuilders, Vitruvius’ ghost appears to him telling him that it was not the prophecy that made him special, but he was the Special because he believed in himself. Therein lies the message of the movie: “If you believe in yourself you will be special. Then you can achieve whatever you want.”

It is this kind of idealism that is seen in many children’s movies. However, despite its lack of originality in plot and message, I still give the movie a high rating. Overall, the movie is quite enjoyable. For the LEGO-lovers out there, the film utilizes all the favorite LEGO play-sets including the skyscrapers, construction sites, saloons and wagons, and others. Countless cameos alluded to LEGO sets based off of pop-fiction characters from Batman to Gandalf and Abe Lincoln to C-3PO.

Another theme came out in the film’s use of humans as the orchestrators of all that take place in the LEGO world. When Emmet has a vision he recalls seeing very clearly the hand of “the man upstairs.” We later find out that this man is the human creator of the LEGO world, and that his son is orchestrating the story as he plays with his father’s LEGO set, despite the many Do-Not-Touch signs.

The story parallels when the father (Will Ferrell) turns out to be the same voice as evil President Business. His son has made Emmet the unlikely hero who will put the Piece of Resistance on the Kragle to stop President Business from gluing all the pieces together, keeping everything in perfect order and preventing anything from going against the authoritative Instructions.

One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Emmet actually comes face to face with the son who has been creating the story as he plays with the LEGOs. Seeing him on the floor, he picks him up saying, “Emmet?” to which Emmet responds, “You know my name?” Perhaps this was not meant to have any parallel to the relationship between humans and a creator, but this is a moment that resonates with all who see it. Emmet’s desire to be known is fulfilled in this moment more than he ever imagined it could be. This is the major moment propelling him forward to be the true hero.

All in all, The LEGO Movie is a great hit. Incorporating witty references to American pop culture and plenty of well-known voices from Hollywood, it is engaging, exciting, and fun for viewers of all ages.

By: Mitch Vezeau

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Mitch, I liked your succinct synopsis of the movie along with the description of the plot, although it seemed to have a couple of mini-spoilers. I myself haven't seen the movie yet, so I will trust that the scene at the end with the human characters doesn't take away TOO much from the movie as a whole. From what I have read from other reviewers, the movie is funny, clever, and good for both kids and adults, and I'm glad to see that your review agreed with them. Finally, you seemed to enjoy it a little more than your rating of a 4/5 suggests, so I wonder if you would be willing to bump it up to a 4.5. Thanks for the review!


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