There’s been a rash of movies lately where the trailers do a poor job of advertising. The Lego Movie is another where the trailer doesn’t properly convey the movie. Leading up to its release, I heard nothing. Good or bad. Just, nothing. As early reviews for the movie came out, the hype went through the roof, and rightfully so. Almost everything about this movie is awesome.
President/Lord Business (Will Ferrell) wants to use the Kragle to keep all the Lego worlds separate and in place, permanently. Enter Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), an everyday, average construction worker who’s constantly happy. He meets Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) who’s searching for the Piece of Resistance. Emmet is thought to be the Special, the one who the legend foretold would be able to stop the Kragle. The two continue to gather more allies as they travel across the various Lego worlds, hoping to stop President Business.
The first third of this movie was slow. Most of the jokes fell flat. I had a difficult time connecting with Emmet as he felt so generic, but that was ultimately the point. As the movie went on, adding characters, things became more interesting. Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day), the 1980-something space guy, and of course, Batman (Will Arnett) brought the movie to life. Once they joined the cast in the second act, things began to gel more.
At first glance, a movie honoring the 60-plus-year-old toy seemed slightly obtuse. How do you make a movie capturing the core of Legos? This is exactly how. Writers Chris Miller and Phil Lord completely nailed the essence of Legos. Following instructions, building whatever you want, unable to find the piece/color you need, not knowing what the heck that piece is, it’s all highlighted. Better still, it ties into the overall message of the movie, which is the most important element of a kids’ movie — that and being entertaining for the entire family while avoiding lowest common denominator humor. Miller and Lord succeed on all fronts.
Easily the best part of the movie was the third act, tying together all the elements of what Legos mean to everyone and the message of everyone being special. I won’t spoil the surprise here, but this reveal amplified my enjoyment tenfold.
While celebrity voice casting can often end poorly for a movie, here it worked wonderfully well. Aside from those I named above, there were cameos from Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Anthony Daniels, Shaquille O’Neal, Nick Offerman, and Billy Dee Williams, with Liam Neeson voicing Good Cop/Bad Cop. It can be distracting having a well-known voices monopolizing a film, but everyone fit in nicely, particularly Ferrell. While Emmett (Pratt) really came alive in the last half, Ferrell’s President/Lord Business was entertaining throughout.
Kids’ movies can easily be garbage, featuring simplistic plots and toilet humor. The Lego Movie avoids those pitfalls while delivering an entertaining story for people of all ages. Though the story takes a bit to get going, if stick with it, you won’t be disappointed.
Surprised by how good this was? Who was your favorite character (Benny)? Comment below!
“Everything is awesome!”