The Lego Movie Review

Posted: February 10, 2014 by pecknt in Peck Reviews

the-lego-movie-poster-chris-pratt-emmet

Reviewed By: Nathanael Peck

Grown Ups, Man of Steel and The Lego Movie. These three films are polar opposites, not only in genre but the quality they present. However, that being said, they do share one specific thing in common; product placement. The product placement in Grown Ups is laughably bad, with several jokes wrapped around products like Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi. No doubt this is used to pay the budget of the film, and line the pockets of Sandler and friends. Man of Steel’s product placement, while not nearly as bad, was incredibly noticeable and distracting. Regardless, that did not necessarily affect the overall quality of the film, unlike Grown Ups. This brings me to The Lego Movie, the film I will be reviewing. While I am not one to tumble into the elaborate hyperbole, I do believe The Lego Movie may be the best use of product placement ever in film. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that The Lego Movie is actually a good, if not great movie.

The Lego Movie follows main character Emmet (Chris Pratt) who plays an over joyed, over optimistic construction worker who is too comfortable with conformity. His days go by with him simply following the ‘instructions’ (a wonderful side note to the instructions used to build Lego sets). His life continues until he stumbles upon Wildstyle(Elizabeth Banks) who is searching for something. Wildstyle, as well as a few others (including Emmet) are Master Builders. These Master Builders are minifigures with the ability to construct anything from the world around them. Not only is Emmet a Master Builder, but he is the Prophecy, the mini figure to save all the Master Builders from President Business (Will Ferrell). Business plan is simple, to shut down the portals connecting ‘worlds’ (different themed sets) and Kragle (super glue) everything together.

The Lego Movie’s story plays a lot like The Matrix, with less convoluted plotlines, more refined dialogue and a steadier pace. Writers and Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are known for making 21 Jump Street a comedy success both in acclaim and box office, and that resume is evident in this film. Not only is The Lego Movie incredibly entertaining, but it might be one of the funniest, most consistent movies I have seen in years. While it’s clear the film is built around visually appealing to younger audiences, the use of supporting characters like Batman (Will Arnett), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) make for plenty of laugh out loud moments. Lord and Miller have excellent character balance, never over playing one character more than the other, and never abusing a joke. Every joke is as unexpected, and as hilarious as the next, each containing a nugget of intelligent writing and heart. While I have never experienced Chris Pratt’s acting before, I can say he honestly gives a solid performance as Emmet. His ability to be funny, passionate and blindly loyal to his lifestyle is played out brilliantly by Chris Pratt. Will Ferrell’s character, President Business, despite being an over the top character, actually shows more constraint than I have seen from Ferrell. Generally speaking, his dialogue is funny, and his character, like the rest never over stays his welcome.

Perhaps the most surprising part of The Lego Movie is not the incredible animation (the use of CGI, with stop animation and ridiculous paper designs is absolutely outstanding) or the charming comedy, but the amount of heart in this film. Not only does the film interestingly talks about societies unwavering need to conform to each other, but also delves into the ideology of creativity, imagination, friendship and the relationship between a Father and Son. Uniquely enough The Lego Movie even has moments of live action; these moments are impactful and emotionally engaging. I found myself teary eyed during these scenes of the movie, as well as attached to the idea of your childhood being ever expanding by not just the things you have but by your imagination.

When I was a child, I had Toy Story. The thought of having these toys I held so dear being able to talk, communicate, and emote was a powerful idea to me. Like many kids, this trilogy will resonate with me forever and be a hallmark of my childhood. In 20 years, if a 20 something year old man tells me The Lego Movie did for him, what Toy Story did for me, I would not be surprised, shocked or even stunned, but might even agree with him. The Lego Movie made me feel like a child again, whimsically smiling at every possibility this world had given me. It might not be forever everyone. But, unlike most films to be released, The Lego Movie is incredibly ambitious, and the epitome of genius product placement. This film is not only a surprise, but surprisingly great. Go see it.

A

Comments
  1. Great review, loved this film. The cast the story where great and the ending was surprisingly deep. Chris Pratt is going to have a very promising career :D

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