Upon watching the trailer for “The Lego Movie,” I bashed it as resembling nothing but a glorified “Robot Chicken” segment. I’m happy to say that “The Lego Movie” not only proves me wrong, but manages to be the antithesis of everything it had potential to be. It’s novel, it’s entertaining, it’s funny, it’s witty, and though it revolves around one brand of toy, it never actually feels like one giant commercial. Instead it celebrates why Lego has been so relevant in pop culture. To make things even more interesting is that it influences audiences to be special by aspiring for individuality and true accomplishments.
The first twenty minutes of the movie are about a society of people that do nothing but enjoy mediocrity, and consider themselves special through the fact that they attempt any kind of bold or interesting task. Chris Pratt leads an all star cast as Emmett Brickowski, a local construction worker who lives his day by carefully drawn and meticulous plans. He’s one of the cogs in the machine that is Lego world, but something is afoot with the organization that runs every aspect of the civilization. President Business is also known as Lord Business, an all powerful megalomaniac who wants to rule the land with his evil glue, and is in search of the mythical “piece of resistance.”
Emmett accidentally finds his fate when he meets the gorgeous Wildstyle, who recruits him to help find the Piece of Resistance and fight evil alongside a slew of Lego regulars. This includes Batman, Benny the spaceman, and the Green Lantern. “The Lego Movie” is so much more entertaining than it has every right to be, and sticks to the basics that make Lego so much fun. There aren’t a lot of nods to their other properties, and primarily explore this world built on the toy bricks that can be formed in to anything we can imagine, or anything that a plan can help us build. What Wildstyle and the rebellion hope to do is make Emmett realize that you don’t always have to follow plans, and often times the best inventions can stem from creativity and imagination.
Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller introduce Lego World as a zany and wacky environment, all the while throwing jokes and sight gags at the audience at a rapid fire pacing that’s admirably simplistic but funny. The cast are also thrown in to hilarious characters, with Johan Hill playing Green Lantern, Will Ferrell taking on the evil Lord Business, and Liam Neeson having a blast as the henchman Good/Bad Cop. That’s only the tip of the ice berg in the realm of cameos from celebrities and Lego characters. Even the animation really helps to keep “The Lego Movie” alive with a style very steeped in stop motion, all the while keeping the world very vibrant and colorful. The CGI is incredibly seamless, allowing transitions that are remarkable.
Much of Emmett’s journey involves him accepting his purpose as a chosen one, and then trying to figure out why he’s even the chosen one when he’s believed himself to be average all along. Only when he steps outside the box can he become a hero saving his own people from evil Lord Business. Sure, at the end of the day “The Lego Movie” is just what it promotes: It’s a Lego movie. It’s a movie about a product. But directors Lord and Miller take that product and build it in to a fun and touching tale while side stepping the corporate world of Lego, and nodding to the dimension of the toy that allowed many generations to be as creative, off beat, and original as possible. At the end of the day the only limitations are the ones you set on yourself, and “The Lego Movie” presents a very good message about always reaching for more, and never settling on average. SPACEHIP!!