Monday, February 10, 2014

A Review Of The Lego Movie

I've been a Lego fanatic since I was about 8 years old. One of my fondest Christmas memories is of the time I unexpectedly got the Knight's Castle. I spent all day putting it together in the basement of my grandmother's house. I then carefully carried it to the car so that I could get it home safely. I had so many crazy adventures in my mind with that set. There was an alien invasion, a group of regular folks went back in time to visit the castle, etc etc. Lego just had a way of sparking my imagination.

The love for Lego is something that my daughter has inherited from me. She already has more sets than I ever had at her age and most days I find her joyfully playing and/or building. And I am always happy to be included, because, after all these years, Lego still brings me a lot of joy and it still sparks my imagination. Needless to say, when I first heard about The Lego Movie several months back, I was beyond excited.

I took my daughter to see it this past weekend and we both really liked it. It follows a fairly typical "chosen one" plot where our hero, a fairly ordinary looking Lego construction worker, Emmet Brickleback stumbles upon a mystic artifact that is the key to fulfilling the prophecy and saving the Lego world. While the movie goes through the motions of "he is the chosen one! Wait! He's not! Hold on! He is! Ooops! Guess not! Is the prophecy even real?" it's the character interaction, the cameos and the clever, irreverent humor mixed with copious amount of Lego nostalgia that makes this movie work. And the ending is absolutely, mind-blowingly emotional. Thoughout the movie, though, there's a subtext about the nature of how we play and how we interact with the Lego world. That's what really sells the movie for me.

The only bad thing I can say about the movie is that there's so much already out there in the form of trailers and Internet spots and TV ads that much of the really funny stuff from The Lego Movie is readily available. I spoiled myself by voraciously watching everything related to it, so, much of the jokes in The Lego Movie was lost on me because I had already seen them. And I found it a little jarring that much of the dialogue from the trailers ended up in different scenes in the actual movie.

Overall, The Lego Movie is not a 90 minute toy commercial. It a fun movie with something for everyone, and, it's so dense, that there's no way you'll be able to catch everything in just one viewing. You might even say that it's a love letter to Lego fans everywhere.

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