If you’re not humming “Everything is Awesome” after watching The Lego Movie, you have no heart. There’s something about this film that squirms into your brain’s limbic system and keeps a permanent grin on your face. Visually, the film is astounding, the writing is incredibly funny and heartfelt, and the sheer number of pop culture references combine to make a solidly entertaining movie. It’s the first time I’ve felt that same timeless, lovely feeling that I got from the Toy Story trilogy, and missing out on this film will absolutely mean you’re missing out on something great.
The Best Long-Form Commercial Ever
Our protagonist, Emmet, is part of a conformist society; and when he happens upon an important artifact, he becomes the only hope for saving the Lego universe from permanent conformity, via superglue. The story itself has a few twists and turns, but what works best is the film’s struggle between conformity and anarchy. We’re told at the beginning that conforming to society is boring and to follow that mantra is pitiable; but by the end, The Lego Film makes a strong case for both philosophies. To go into too much more detail would spoil the ending, but anyone who owned a Lego set as a child will be able to relate easily.
A Striking Look and Feel
Visually speaking, The Lego Movie is both expected and unexpected. It uses Lego pieces as its characters and set pieces, but what’s surprising is how much detail the film puts into everything, giving us amazing visual nuance that’s both eye-catching and incredibly layered. The landscape of Legos move around with ease, and watching actual Lego pieces undulate around solid objects is mind-blowing. Even the focus on facial animation goes a step further to make the characters seem alive, and every time Emmet’s face is near the screen, his mouth and eyes are so evocative that you can’t help but be drawn in.
I also need to make special mention of the cinematography of the film. There is heavy-use of tilt-shifting, which gives the impression of a someone leaning in close to play with a toy in a playhouse. The look is intentional, and really adds that certain “je ne sais quoi” that brings the movie’s visual style together. It will seem jarring and unnecessary, but the end of the movie completely justifies its use.
Giggling That Lasts For Hours
The humor in The Lego Movie comes at you super-fast and effortless. Even though it’s chock-full of references, there’s still a genuine effort to be independently funny. The character who best embodies this is Batman—as a character in the film, he becomes more than just a walk-on who only says, “Hi, I’m Batman.” He goes on to be one of the funniest characters in the movie, eliciting outright guffaws from both adults and children alike as his dark and brooding manner contrasts sharply with his obsession over naming everything a Bat-Something. Every joke constantly subverts the audience’s expectations and takes it one step further. I’d give examples, but it’s really an experience you need to have for yourself.
Stepping into the theater, I honesty felt really out of place and wondered whether I should have waited until it was available to stream in a year or two. I’m so glad I didn’t. From the very beginning, I felt that I’d time-traveled back to when I was a ten-year-old playing with Legos and imagining space battles with improbably built spaceships. I mentioned this earlier, but what Toy Story did to entertain adults as well as children The Lego Movie harnessed as well to make an amazing film that you should experience in the theater by any means necessary.
The Lego Movie – A
Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him realize that the goggles, zey do nothing!