Review: The LEGO Movie
Saturday, February 1st, 2014 at 10:31pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Near the end of last year, Kevin Hinkle from the LEGO CEE Team let BioniLUG know that Warner Bros. was looking to leverage AFOLs to promote the upcoming LEGO Movie and asked if we'd be interested. We jumped at the opportunity, which eventually culminated with several BioniLUG and WAMALUG members showing off their MOCs and attending a screening of the film in Northern Virginia. Since the movie isn't out yet, and I'm sure many of you are anxious to know if you should see it or not, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the film.
Bottom line up front - go see The LEGO Movie! It's a funny romp through any LEGO fan's childhood and also manages to champion creativity and the other core values of LEGO.
Here's a quick summary of the plot, avoiding spoilers outside of the first five minutes: Lord Business wants to control the entire LEGO world and thinks people should behave exactly as he wants. This doesn't go over too well with a group of master builders who try to stop Lord Business but fail. Fortunately, as is usually the case, there is a prophecy of a savior who will overthrow Business and all he stands for. Fast forward a few years, and we find out Emmet is this 'Special,' and must unite the master builders and defeat Lord Business once and for all. Hilarity and drama and tropes ensue.
If you're going in expecting this to be deep and cerebral, you're going to be disappointed. That said, it's still emotional at times and has a message to get across. It may be a little heavy handed about it once or twice, but you'll be laughing too hard during the rest of the movie to really care. There's plenty in the movie to appeal to hardcore fans, and more than a couple things for the parents of the kids who are obviously the main audience. I'd hesitate to use the phrase 'fan service,' but it's clear the writers did their research to really get all the details right.
From a visual perspective, the movie is LEGO to its core. I've heard from various places that it's all CG or that it's a mix between CG and stop-motion, but it really doesn't matter because it looks like LEGO bricks. On the close-ups, you see wear and tear on some of the minifigs and pieces, just as you'd expect to find in any LEGO collection. There was clearly a lot of attention to detail which will be appreciated even by the kids - they know what the bricks in their toy boxes really looks like. The animation is fantastic and stays true to the bricks; this isn't like the LEGO videogames where minifigs have a wider range of movement and extra joints. If the actual bricks can't do it, you won't see it in the file (within reason - there may be some exceptions). This adds a sense of realism (for a movie about living toys) that helps to suspend your disbelief. It also allows for some funny moments, such as Emmet doing jumping jacks when he wakes up in the morning.
The voice acting is top notch and all the talent gives it their all. If you're not familiar with who's in the movie, let me refresh your memory - Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, and a talented group of others. They all do a great job giving the characters believable personalities and emotions while delivering punchlines and keeping the audience laughing.
The LEGO Movie is a great comedy for kids ages 1-99 that will keep you laughing and promises to age well on repeat viewings. I highly encourage everyone to see it at their earliest opportunity. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the split-second Bionicle reference - LEGO didn't forget!
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