Review: The LEGO Movie - A Second Look
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 at 1:28pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
I wasn't the only one to attend an early screening of The LEGO Movie. BZPower Blog Assistant Ta-metru_defender has also seen the movie and has a lot of thoughts to share. In case you're still on the fence, he's provided another take on the film to help you decide if you should head to the theater on February 7th. Read on!
I've been making LEGO movies for a long time; click around my Brickshelf and you'll see gifs, stop-motion stuff, cgi, etc. I like LEGO toys, and I like movies. So imagine my excitement when we saw the first trailer for The LEGO Movie; the movie looked good, man! It looked funny and smart, the animation looked beautiful, and the cast was terrific. To say I was hopeful is an understatement.
And believe me, The LEGO Movie delivers.
If you've seen the trailers you know the plot; Emmet, a very ordinary minifig, is the prophesied Special who will lead the Master Builders to defeat President Business and his superweapon: The Kragle. In a fascinating turn it follows Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey almost step-for-step (y'know, the same one George Lucas used for Star Wars). That said, it utilizes the monomyth to its fullest extent, throwing in some very memorable moments that'll stick with you after the credits have stopped rolling. It's a movie about imagination and creativity that never feels heavy handed by virtue of those themes playing in beautifully with the story of the movie. Simply put, it plain works.
It's funny too. I saw it at an advance screening at my university, and the auditorium was laughing start to finish. The jokes and gags aren't condescending or of the sort that will make you groan if you're older than seven. If anything, it feels like Phineas & Ferb. Jokes work on several levels, whether it's references to The Dark Knight, The Terminator, and Air Force One or the sheer zaniness of Benny the Spaceman, there's a joke in there for everyone; jokes you'll be quoting with your friends over lunch the next day. It's certainly a wacky movie, but there's a level of polish to it seldom seen in animated films.
It looks good, too. Just about everything in this movie is made of LEGO, and I mean everything. Not just buildings and roads, but laser blasts and explosions and even water too. Not only is the animation gorgeous but, according to the directors, it sprinkles some actual stop motion in with its CGI.
It'd be a shame to not mention the cast, either. Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks are great as Emmet and Wyldstyle, but the real fun comes from the supporting cast. Will Arnett's Batman is a loving send-up of The Dark Knight that never comes off as mean or silly; Will Ferrel plays one of his best roles in years as the diabolical President Business. Morgan Freeman's Vitruvius has all the gravitas you'd expect from a character voiced by Morgan Freeman, only with some decidedly goofy bits. Alison Brie and Liam Neeson also turn in great roles as Uni-kitty and Bad Cop/Good Cop respectively, and Charlie Day's 1980's Space Guy is easily my favorite character from the movie. There are also some other cameos scattered throughout the movie that I'm not going to spoil for you.
But I will say that just about every single main LEGO theme currently running is represented in some form or another. There's even a quick Bionicle shout out! Simply put, The LEGO Movie is a very LEGO-y movie. Emmet's instructions are designed just like the instruction booklets we've seen every time we open a box, there's this Master Builder-vision sort of thing which highlights individual pieces - with that seven-digit number you see in the back of instruction booklets. There's this moment where the protagonists are building something together and their dialogue sounds just like that one time you and your friends built that thing together all those years ago. It's a love letter to LEGO, one that never stops being fun.
When it comes down to it, that's the best way to describe The LEGO Movie. It's a 100 minutes of pure fun that never loses its feel throughout the movie. Even when it hits its dramatic moments it still keeps that spirit alive. This is the LEGO movie we always wanted.
- Solid story that owns its theme and ends up being rather unique
- It's frigging hilarious
- Gorgeous animation
- Fantastic cast
- It's so LEGO-y!
- Various bits that are wonderful and beautiful and I don't want to ruin for you
- I honestly have nothing bad to say about this movie.
Let me put this simply: Go see this movie on Friday. Then watch it again. That's my plan, anyway.
« Return to News