FILM REVIEW: The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie (Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, 2014)


I’m sure many people were quick to write this movie off as a blatant money grab for the Lego company. While it’s true that they certainly will capitalise on the film’s success, it turns out the film is actually really bloody good and worthy of respect. The Lego Movie is aimed at children AND adults, and I don’t just mean the nerd adults who build Lego creations in their basements and refuse to let anyone touch them.

In fact there is a pointed jab at these individuals which I found highly amusing. Just like in many of the highly successful Pixar films, there are many jokes which will go over the kids’ heads and score a chuckle from the adults. The film manages to balance the line well in regards to its broad audience. It does have a bit of an ADHD vibe to it – it is quick paced, random, and loud. I’m not quite sure why I find yelling so hilarious, but I do. There will most likely be some adults who feel that this kind of comedy is a bit beneath them, and dismiss it as merely “a kids movie” with the connotation being “It’s not high art enough for me”, but it is actually pretty clever, and good value for anyone who is still a kid at heart. You WILL get the “Everything is awesome” song in your head afterwards. But that’s okay, because it’s awesome. Obviously.

Just an ordinary guy... in an ordinary LEGO world
Just an ordinary guy… in an ordinary LEGO world

A great voice cast has been assembled (GET IT? ASSEMBLED) including the likes of Chris Pratt as ordinary construction worker Emmett, Elizabeth Banks as female lead Wyldstyle, Will Ferrell as the evil President Business, Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius, a God-like character (of course), Will Arnett as Batman, and Liam Neeson as Bad Cop/ Good Cop. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill also have minor voice roles as Superman and Green Lantern, respectively. Many well-known characters appear throughout the course of the movie and fans will delight in the many references to specific Lego series. The writers have fun with their portrayal of various characters – most noticeably making Batman a bit of a dick which was brilliant. Other highlights were Unikitty (Alison Brie), a half unicorn, half kitten from Cloud Cuckoo Land who represses all of her negative thoughts, and Benny, “the 1980s Space Guy” (Charlie Day) who is desperate to build a spacecraft. There is hilarious dialogue aplenty. If you don’t laugh, you’re too old. IN THE HEART.

Batman the dick and 1980s Space Guy both provide laughs aplenty
Batman the dick and 1980s Space Guy both provide plenty of laughs

Of course, in a “kids movie” there has to be a good message, and The Lego Movie does not disappoint with a message about believing in yourself. I won’t even bother giving a synopsis because you already know it’s about Lego characters and that is enough (and don’t watch the full length trailer – it will ruin a lot of the best jokes). Although it does look like they’re using real Lego pieces in stop-motion in the film, it is in fact all CGI. It’s impressive how realistic it looks. I was wary going in that the overall ‘look’ of Lego pieces would get boring, but it most certainly did not and there were plenty of action scenes which were amazing to watch. They also managed to make the characters display real emotions, and I actually almost cried at the end. Almost. Although that wasn’t quite due to the Lego characters… In summary: Everything was awesome.

4 stars

Teaser trailer below:

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