The story of a nobody who saved everybody; a review of The Lego Movie (2014)

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The first film review 2014! Very exciting! And what better way to celebrate than talking about two of my favorite things in the world: movies and Legos! So without further adieu, ‘Lego!’

Get it? Like, “Leggo,” From the Chris Brown song! Which means, “Let’s go!” No? No one?

….. Excuse me while I walk into oncoming traffic…..

So The Lego Movie (2014) could be regarded as the biggest movie ever assembled for two reasons: The first being it’s Legos… You assemble them… As in build. The second is the cast is STACKED. You have Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, and Morgan Freeman as the main cast of characters. THEN you have Charlie Day, Will Forte, Dave Franco, Jonah Hill, Nick Offerman, Cobie Smulders, AND Channing Tatum! THEN, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels are in this film as their respective Star Wars characters (In Lego form), Lando Calrissian and C3PO. EVEN SHAQUILLE O’NEAL IS IN THIS MOVIE AS HIMSELF IN LEGO FORM. That’s about as big of a cast I’ve ever seen. Like, on par with Sin City (2005), which also has a stacked cast.

So the film takes place in a world of Legos, and focuses on Emmet (Pratt), who is an average, yellow skinned, construction worker who loves his apparently average life. All of a sudden he comes across this object called, “The Piece of Resistance” and all Hell breaks loose. He meets WyldStyle (Banks, and not a misspelling), who is dating Batman (Arnett) and they and the rest of the “Master Builders” are led by Vitruvius (Freeman). They are trying to stop Lord Business (Ferrell) from literally gluing the Lego world together, thus rendering them unmovable… Like real Legos.

I went into this movie with relatively modest expectations. I thought to myself, it was going to be a bunch of marketing for Lego and their different products and characters like Batman would do certain things that were funny, because it was THAT character who did it and it either goes with or conflicts with his personality. I was both right and wrong. Yes, those jokes are in their, and one could call the whole movie a marketing ploy; but it really is a lot more than that.

It delivers a message about not always following instructions like Lego provides you with in their box sets, and to reach out and use your imagination. Not only to build, but to create a world with what you build. I related to this a lot, having grown up in a house full of Legos. My brother and I were mainly Star Wars Legos, but I branched out to Harry Potter, Batman, and even the Lego City sets. Creating worlds with these sets and characters was a pastime of mine for as long as I can remember. I’d have crossovers, and let Batman chill with Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon. Does it make sense? No… But it did to me at the time and that’s what made it fun.

At the end of the second act of the movie, there is this sort of… transition period, you could call it, before the third act. You’ll know what I mean when you see the movie; but this movie really comes together with this scene, and makes the whole journey of these characters that much more worthwhile. It just hits you right in the feels!

The film was entirely CGI, but it was purposely made to look like stop-motion, to give the Legos a “Real” look to them. This worked very well, I think, considering the fact that the entire movie I questioned whether it was CGI or stop motion. The movie is incredibly beautiful to look at and I honestly think it may be the best animation I have ever seen in a movie to date. The animators made probably the best decision of the movie and made the ENTIRE world made of Legos. It is LITERALLY a Lego world. If something blows up, the explosion is Legos. There is an ocean made of blue Legos.  THE SKY IS MADE OF LEGOS. Lego has everywhere in this film!

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I can’t praise this movie without mentioning the voice cast and how they OWNED this movie. Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks were great. It’s always fun to see Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson do less serious roles and have some fun for a change. The person who REALLY killed it for me was Will Arnett as Batman. Whoever decided to cast Arnett as the dark knight is a genius. As much of a genius as the guy who decided to put Michael Cera on cocaine in This is the End (2013). Only because it’s the Batman, we’re talking about, I liked this one more. Jonah Hill is hilarious as Green Lantern, and Charlie Day as the 1980s spaceman is really fun to watch as well, especially at the end when he has is, “Arc.”

One of my only gripes with this movie is that they acknowledge the fact there there are multiple areas in this Lego world, including a western world, a viking world, pirates, even Bionicles, and more. I wish they went to more of these places instead of just one or two… Especially Bionicle world. I loved those things back in the day.

The Lego Movie (2014) is a really good movie for not only kids, but young adults such as myself who grew up building Legos. Even parents will enjoy this film if their kids had Legos that covered the basement and kitchen floor for years. I highly recommend this to anyone who is just looking for a great time at the movies. It’s a great start for me to the 2014 movie season, and I almost wish this movie came out in the summer/fall time because now I’m afraid it will be forgotten when it comes to Oscar season.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 – Really good

Excellent story, great voice acting, and it sends a good message. Go see it if you love Legos, loved Legos, or are trying to get into Legos.

-Reed

IMAGES: http://cganimationblog.com/image-files/posters/animal-logic-the-lego-movie-poster-large.jpg, http://www.apnatimepass.com/the-lego-movie-movie-poster-19.jpg

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