FlixChatter Review: The LEGO Movie

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We’ve seen a plethora of movie tie-in with the LEGO company for a long time. From the Lord of the Rings to Star Wars, there’s pretty much a LEGO version of pretty much any franchise. So it’s really a matter of time that these colorful interlocking plastic bricks have a movie of their own, I’m quite surprised it took six decades since its inception in the late 1940s.

Who says that February is only for duds? This is one of the most fun experience I had in the movies in a long time, it’s every bit as cute and hilarious as the trailers and featurettes promised us. I’ve heard the term geekstravaganza being used in one of the reviews and that’s the perfect way to describe it. But as fun as those pop-culture characters are, the movie wouldn’t have worked without a protagonist worth rooting for. Seems that I’ve been seeing Chris Pratt quite a lot lately, he had a brief appearance in Her and also as a NAVY Seals in Zero Dark Thirty a few years back. He is perfectly-cast as Emmet, an ordinary construction worker with a happy-go-lucky attitude and contagious hyper-optimistism. In a world where coffee cost $37 a cup, Emmet still thinks life is well, awesome! :D

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The opening sequence showing him living his day-to-day life is a hoot, the simple shape of each LEGO piece comes to live in this colorful LEGO universe. The LEGO universe is ruled by President (Lord) Business (Will Ferrell), a maniacal tyrant [is there any other kind?] bent on world domination, it’s a totalitarian existence we’ve seen in many dystopian futuristic films.

A lot of the ideas in this movie’s premise is not groundbreaking, but yet the style in which its presented makes even the most clichéd concept still watchable and entertaining. Borrowing from The Matrix and countless other sci-fis, Emmet is thought of as *the one*, that is the extraordinary MasterBuilder whom the resistant group thinks would lead them to the Piece of Resistance that’d what else, save the LEGO citizens from impending doom. The member of the resistant group is led by fun characters like the Yoda/Gandalf-like Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), the beautiful fighter Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), 80s astronaut Benny (Charlie Day) and Wyldstyle’s boyfriend, Batman (Will Arnett). All of them are hilarious though the most inspired casting of all is Liam Neeson as Good Cop/Bad Cop who’s quite the scene stealer.

I have to admit that halfway through the 100-min running time the action are happening way too fast that it’s borderline ADD. Fortunately the jokes just keep on coming. In the midst of their adventure, Emmet, Wyldstyle & co. encountered a pirate called Metalbeard who’s bent on revenge against Lord Business for taking his body parts, voiced by the always-awesome Nick Offerman. Other pop-culture characters showing up in this one big intergalactic-like conference, which offers plenty of nostalgia to our childhood for everyone born before the 80s. But the focus of the story is always on Emmet, who’s the heart of the film. The ending offers a surprising twist that connects the LEGO universe with our human world, which represents what the LEGO toy is to kids in their creativity process. I think this part is handled quite nicely, though it feels a bit schmaltzy at times but it’s not without its charm. It’d definitely inspire both parents and kids in the audience, but the message of the power of imagination is relatable to anyone of all ages.

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Props to Phil Lord & Christopher Miller and the team of animators for creating such a joyfully entertaining movie that also has plenty of heart to balance the action-packed scenes. I’m still humming the theme song Everything is Awesome, I’d dare not to let this song lift up even your grumpiest mood. Combined with the playful stop-motion animation and hilarious expressions of every single LEGO characters, it’s perhaps the cheeriest sequence you’d see all year. The attention to detail is amazing and hugely entertaining. For a shape so simple, somehow the facial expressions are pretty darn good. Oh and even something as mundane as taking a shower is so adorable when done in LEGO! The water *droplet* and the soap *bubble* are so darn cute!!

It’s no surprise that the box office take blew even the industry estimates by nearly 30% with $69 mil take. This now stands as my favorite Warner Bros. animated features since The Iron Giant. I highly recommend seeing this one on the big screen if you want a mood-lifting movie. The 3D is good though I think seeing it in 2D is perfectly acceptable as well. I’m being pretty generous here on my rating, but it really is hugely entertaining movie I don’t mind watching again.

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4.5 out of 5 reels

Thoughts on The LEGO Movie? I’d love to hear it!

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61 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: The LEGO Movie

  1. I loved it, it hit me in all the right places, the funny bone, the nostalgia bone, the daddy bone, and whatever else without drawing this analogy out too far (too late).

  2. Sounds like a fun movie, I might give it a rent when it hits bluray since I like the cast. I wonder if more studios will release this kind of movie in the winter months now that this one made a huge opening over the weekend.

    • I think it’d look beautiful on Blu-ray! I’ll definitely buy it and hope there’ll be tons of extra stuff on there, LEGO land is really a fun world to be lost in :D

  3. Good review Ruth. Yeah, this movie is a whole bunch of fun that I never got bored of for a single second. Got a bit annoyed of by the end, but it all went past my head once I actually got to thinking about it and realized that this movie was just buckets of fun.

  4. I was aware of the many previous Lego tie-in movies , but haven’t seen of them yet. I really feel like missing out now. The Lego Movie was awesome!! There’s so much to adore here. And yeah, I plan on seeing it in the theaters again soon!

    • Hello Asrap! I was referring to all the LEGO pieces of various movie franchises, I know LOTR, Hobbit and Star Wars’ characters have been done in LEGO versions. So yeah, it’s about time there’s a LEGO movie on its own. It’s definitely fun enough to watch over and over, isn’t it?

  5. I was shocked to see last week how many positive reviews this had on Rotten Tomatoes and the quotes I read from them. This was not a movie I was planning to see, but I now know I will have to.

  6. We get this film next month – the END of next month, goddam you Australian cinema chains! – and man, am I keen to see it. I skipped reading the bulk of your review, Ruth, but I’ll come back here when I eventually see this one!

  7. Sounds like you had lots of fun with this one! I can’t say it is a movie I’ve been looking forward to but your enthusiasm for it, along with a plethora of positive reviews out there, tells me I should check it out.

  8. Great review, Ruth! And hello, long time no see :)) I’ve been pretty much busy with school work this past month, could only update a few blog posts, let alone blogwalking. I’ve missed a lot of your posts! Haha but enough about me… I really like this film, too! But I have to agree with you though, the first half was too fast-paced, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate. But, the second half was golden, and I love the ‘power of imagination’ message, really fits with the brand’s own concept. And really love the pop culture references here!

    • Thanks Fariz! Hey that’s ok man, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule. There’s no such thing as a late comment, it’s always welcome :D Glad you love this too, even w/ the ADD action it’s still a whole lot of fun. The beginning of just showing Emmet’s life is so endearingly hilarious!

    • Ahah, well they make movies out of anything these days but LEGO seems to be a fun idea to me. I mean it’s so well-loved internationally, y’know. Glad that the movie turns out great as well, we need it in this dud months, ahah.

    • He..he.. well it’s really a small quibble as the movie is still a lot of fun for me. It is really charming and very imaginative, just like the LEGO toy itself :D

    • Hi Mark, indeed it is. I was just talking to my coworker a few minutes ago how fun it was and it’s amazing the longevity of LEGO, it’s still cool after 65 years and it’s only going to get stronger. I’m looking forward to the inevitable sequel!

    • Hi Tim, did this just open in the UK? Yeah I LOVED it, it’s so much fun. Pratt seems to be everywhere these days, so yeah I think he’s definitely made it in Hollywood.

        • He..he.. well thanks for coming back and letting me know that you love it too :D Now, are you super excited for Captain America? I’m super stoked about that one. Not sure if you did a trailer review of that one or not.

  9. Pingback: FlixChatter Review: Disney’s Big Hero 6 |

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