Today we have a guest post from my husband, Thad about the new Lego movie. He’s a programmer by day and a gamer and book lover by night. You can find him on Twitter @Thaddeus0708
On a whim, Kirby and went to the theater Wednesday night. We selected The Lego Movie on the strength of some friends’ recommendations and its surprisingly high reviews. The cast of actors providing the vocals didn’t hurt either. I’d happily listen to Morgan Freeman read the tax code, and Will Arnett as Batman is a brilliantly hilarious choice. Despite that, as we walked into the complex I’ll admit a part of me wished we were going to something a little more adult. But I’m happy to report that no movie in a while has surprised me like The Lego Movie, and if you played with Legos as a kid or have a shred of inner child remaining, you’ll enjoy Lego’s feature film, too.
For all its positives, some have rightfully observed that the movie is (unsurprisingly) a giant commercial for Legos. And they are right. Not only in the wide variety of Lego bricks on display (now at a store near you!), but in the film’s ultimate message. In fact, the film’s Lego Lingo such as “Master Builder” and final moral echoed the same words used by Lego reps at a Lego KidsFest I attended with my youngest sister 2 years ago.
Furthermore, the movie’s silly sense of humor and loose plot wore thin at times. But the final act added a layer to the plot which negated that complaint. I’ll try to avoid discussing that and other surprises now, because the film’s twists and turns are half its fun.
Fun is certainly the strength of The Lego Movie, and the filmmakers obviously knew it. Not one of the host of trademarked characters, from Batman to Dumbledore, is taken too seriously. The film’s style is not unlike the Lego Video Games, or a fan made parody. A friend of mine compared it to a really long Youtube video. Not far off of a comparison, especially considering the long tradition of Legos on Youtube which preceded this movie’s conception.
While keeping the tone light and the jokes coming fast, The Lego movie still manages to set forward a few thoughtful themes from which it would not inappropriate for kids, or even adults to learn. The dangers of conformity, the desire for importance and being “special” to someone, power of teamwork and planning vs creativity, and Batman’s awesomeness. Throughout the movie and its themes, the focus remains on the ideas that make Legos really special. They come with great instructions and can be used to create exciting, beautiful words. But at their best, they break the rules and become an expression of a child’s creativity. Having played extensively (at times exclusively) with Legos as a kid, The Lego Movie gave me flashbacks to the playtime I so enjoyed with a destructible and constructible world at my fingertips. I hope that it will for you too!
I, Kirby, also enjoyed the Lego Movie although maybe not as much as Thad (I was more of a Playmobile girl growing up!). It
was definitely the best silly movie I’ve seen, and surprisingly I thought the effects and action scenes were more exciting than many live action movies I’ve seen. I could include an obligatory complaint about gender representation and Wyldstyle’s character, but I ended up being too busy loving Allison Brie’s Unikitty character and laughing at the goofy jokes poking fun of mindless consumerism or lowest common denominator entertainment. I’m not a big Chris Pratt fan and I’ve been getting “Everything is Awesome” stuck in my head at awkward moments ever since, but overall it was a fun movie that was much better than it needed to be and exceeded my expectations.