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The Lego Movie

What She said:

She

When the The Lego Movie first started, I honestly didn’t know what to make of it.  It was loud, manic, and extremely colorful.  It actually made my head spin a little bit.  I felt frantic and had no idea what was going on.  Heads were tails, down was up; you get the picture.  Thankfully, I got my footing somewhere around the thirty minute mark, and was able to get on board for this rollercoaster ride of a film.

So let me tell you a little bit about the synopsis of this film.  Emmet is a nobody construction worker who spends his days helping to build giant Lego skyscrapers.  One evening he crosses paths with this beautiful and rebellious young woman named Wildstyle.  That’s not her real name, by the way.  So, Emmet is immediately smitten by this woman — she is quite alluring with multi-colored plastic hair — and follows her.  He falls down a hole and discovers the Piece of Resistance.  “The wha-wha-what?” you’re probably asking.  Yeah, the Piece of Resistance.  It’s this item that the wizard Vitruvius has prophesized will stop the evil Lord Business from using the superweapon, Kragle, to destroy Lego-humanity.  Vitruvius and his followers believe that a chosen one, called The Special, will find the Piece of Resistance, and so when Emmet happens upon it, he’s automatically hailed as a savior.  Of course, Emmet has very limited skills, and so he quickly finds himself swept up in drama that he’s not prepared for.

The Lego Movie

Emmet and Wildstyle are pursued by Bad Cop, Lord Business’ lieutenant, and so they move to different realms to try to escape to safety.  Emmet finally meets Vitruvius and his followers, who are Master Builders.  Master Builders are the coolest cats of Lego World.  While Emmet must rely on instructions when he builds, they have this remarkable ability to build whatever they want out of Legos without the need for any guidance or diagrams.  Some of these Master Builders and higher-ups in Vitruvius’ inner circle include Lego Batman, Princess Unikitty, Benny (a random 1980s space guy), and Wonder Woman.  There are plenty of other notables as well.

The crew is fighting a losing battle against Lord Business’ guys when *zap* we’re transferred into the real world—I mean the non-animated one that you and I live in.  Things get a bit meta as we realize that the events of Lego World are playing out in this larger human world, through the imagination of a boy named Finn.  His father, who is revealed as “the Man Upstairs” is Finn’s inspiration for Lord Business, and he’s the one who wants to use the Kragle aka Krazy Glue to permanently affix his Lego creations.  Emmet somehow wills himself to move and gets Finn’s attention.  Finn reunites him with the Piece of Resistance and returns him to the realm of Lego World, where he’s able to continue his fight against Lord Business. 

The events that follow kind of happen dually, in the Lego World (Finn’s imagination) and in the real world, as Finn and his father work out their differences. Of course, we can expect a pseudo happy ending.  Emmet learns to become a Master Builder and wins the affections of Wildstyle, and Finn and his father come to an understanding about the true purpose of Legos.

Ok, so I pretty much gave away this entire movie.  Sorry about that.  Aside from things getting very “big picture” when we’re introduced to the real world, there really are no secrets in this movie.  Everything is about as you would expect it, albeit manic and slightly difficult to follow.  But, fortunately for the somewhat complex storyline, the humor in this movie keeps it afloat.  Some of the jokes miss, but most of them hit and are very funny.  A lot of the funniness with this movie comes from the satire.  You’ll see a lot of highly recognizable and iconic human items misconstrued and mispronounced within the Lego World.  The humor is also a good blend of jokes that will work with kids and those geared toward parents.   I found the Batman character in particular to be very funny in every scene he was in.

Visually, this movie is very strong.  It’s extremely colorful, fast paced, and has a nice feel for an animated film.  The moviemakers decided to replicate the look of stop action animation, even though everything in the movie is actually computer animated.  This is technically unnecessary, but actually does serve a somewhat significant purpose.  It supports the notion that the Lego World is actually a figment of a human’s imagination.  It reminds us that these characters are not “real” per say.  And this is particularly effective when we get to the part of the film where we move back and forth between Lego World and the real world.

The Lego Movie

You’ll recognize many of the voices in this film.  I found it amusing that both Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson are reunited in a movie that also involves Batman.  Also lending their voices to this movie are Chris Pratt (Emmet), Will Ferrell (Lord Business/The Man Upstairs), Elizabeth Banks (Wyldstyle), Will Arnett (Batman), and Alison Brie (Princess Unikitty).  There are also cameos from other notables like Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Cobie Smulders, Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams.  I found Arnett to be a standout amongst the group.  His gravelly voice works well for Batman, as he is a parody of the Christian Bale Batman of the more recent movie franchise.

Overall, this film is a bit overwhelming at first, but once you’re onboard you should remain seated with your hands inside the car and just hang on for the ride.  If you do, you won’t be disappointed.  It’s a fun rollercoaster that’s also pretty funny.

Thumbs up.

The Lego Movie

What he said:

He
The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie is about a very ordinary construction worker named Emmet (Chris Pratty) and the extraordinary adventure he’s about to go on. Emmet is a very plain guy. There’s nothing unique about him. In fact, when people are asked about him, they can’t come up with anything that stands out about him. They know who he is, but not what he likes or is good at.

One evening, as he’s about to leave work, he encounters a woman named Wildstyle(Elizabeth Banks), rummaging through a construction site. He is smitten with her from the moment he sees her, but she flees before he gets the chance to introduce himself.

Emmet begins to snoop around the site Wildstyle was investigating and he falls down a hole and finds what it was Wildstyle was looking for – The Piece of Resistance. The Piece of Resistance is the only thing that can stop President Business (Will Ferrell) from unleashing his super weapon, the Kragle, on the entire world.
Emmet passes out and wakes up in a room where he is interrogated by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) about The Piece of Resistance, which is attached to his back. He wants to know what Emmet knows about it and if he is working for President Business’ archenemy, Vitruvius.

Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), is an old wizard and one of the many Master builders. He was the keeper of the Kragle until President Business stole it years ago.

All hell breaks loose when Wildstyle busts onto the scene and rescues Emmet. She takes Emmet to another world – there are many Lego worlds – where Vitruvius and the rest of the Master Builders are hatching a plan to stop Business. It turns out that plan involves Emmet, who is supposed to be the best Master Builder of them all, AKA The Special. Every doubts Emmet is The Special, because there’s nothing remotely special about him.

The rest of the movie involves a lot of cat and mouse kind of stuff between President Business and his henchman and Vitruvius, Wildstyle, Emmet, Batman (Will Arnett), and some of Vitruvius’ other followers. They hop from world-to-world quicker than you can say Lego and meet lots of different characters – and crack a lot of jokes – along the way.

The Lego Movie

This movie was a little overwhelming at first, but once I got used to it and the jokes starting flying, I was hooked. This movie is really quite funny. The references to the real world (Kragle is really Krazy Glue) are clever and extremely amusing. Batman alone is an experience. Will Arnett brilliantly spoofs Christian Bale’s Batman – he makes him an overconfident jerk as well – perfectly. I could watch an entire movie just about this character. Almost everything that comes out of his mouth is comedic gold. He along with Chris Pratt (who was great as the lead), Elizabeth Banks, and Morgan Freeman are a great group of main characters. It’s kind of like a fantasy movie – a ragtag group of individuals thrown together for an important quest. Of course this is a lot more bold, colorful, and borderline obnoxious at times (it kind of works in its favor if you can keep up with it though). Neeson and Ferrell are great villains too. This movie it also has a heart – Emmet feels like a major loser and you do feel bad for you – and a completely unexpected twist. It added some depth to what would have just been a bright shiny toy without it. I really enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would. It was hilarious.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on June 29, 2014.

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