The Lego Movie: A Movie Review by Reece Theberge
In 2009, when it came to animated movies, I had two really big expectations; I predicted that Up was going to be absolutely amazing and that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs would be the biggest animated flop since Delgo. May came around with the release of Up, I went with my family to see it in theaters and…… I thought it was just okay. Nothing great or outstanding, just decent. Naturally, I was a little let down by this. At least I looked forward to CWACOM being awful, right? Well, I had to wait till it came out on DVD to see it and as soon as I put it into the DVD player, I prepared myself for what I thought was going to be a really unfunny, uncreative, and unentertaining kid’s movie. Well, I am happy to say that I ate my words that day. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is one of my favorite animated movies of all time and one of the best animated comedies in the past 6 years. The directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, really threw a curveball at me, making a very, very funny, fast paced, and surprisingly heartwarming movie with great visuals, fantastic voice acting, and tight direction. As an aside, no, I haven’t seen the sequel, due to lack of resources to, but I hopefully in the near future I will. But back to Lord and Miller. 3 years later, they released 21 Jump Street, a Rated-R comedy based on the TV show of the same name. This time, even more people were dreading this movie. “Really? A 21 Jump Street movie starring the fat kid from Superbad? Yeah, this is going to blow.” But, surprise, surprise, the movie was met very positive reviews. Yes, it seems like the guys who created the awesomely short-lived cult animated show Clone High specialize in taking really doomed-to-fail ideas and somehow make them work extraordinarily well. Which leads us to today’s movie, Lord and Miller’s The LEGO Movie.
Emmet the construction worker (Chris Pratt) lives in the almost perfect city of Bricksville. His life changes when he meets the Master Builder Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and accidentally finds the “Piece of Resistance”, a piece that would be able to stop the “Kragle”, a super weapon now in possession of the evil President Business (Will Ferrell). Under the instruction of the powerful Master Builder wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), Emmet must find the power inside of him to save to LEGO universe from mass destruction.
Even though I make a rule for myself to never get really hyped for movies anymore, The LEGO Movie was a rare exception for me, and thankfully, it lived up to every expectation I had for it; the writing is solid, the characters are immensely enjoyable and lovable, the visuals and animation are drop dead gorgeous, and the whole movie is wildly creative and imaginative, kind of like LEGO itself. A real surprise to me was all of the LEGO licenses and in-jokes in the script, from the very tongue-in-cheek Batman (hilariously played by Will Arnett and easily the show stealer), to the subtle jabs at Bionicle, to cameos from people like Superman, Green Lantern, the Ninja Turtles, Wonder Woman, and the crew of the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars. It’s a movie that you will need to see a couple of times just to see every background visual gag that you may have missed the previous times.
Speaking of the visuals, lord almighty, what visuals they are. The movie is shot with great angles and great filters that make the colors just pop out at you, even without 3D. The animation is absolutely spectacular as well. Even though I now know that the movie was made using CGI, there were parts in the movie that I genuinely thought were filmed with stop motion, which is a huge positive in my book. I’m actually thankful LEGO didn’t make the movie using the same kind of animation as their Video Games or TV specials, which isn’t bad, but the stop motion-esque animation gives the movie a more charming and lively feeling to it. It just pleases me more aesthetically.
By and by, this has to be one of the most cleverly written and funniest animated movies in a long time. The dialog and visual gags just come at you with such speed and timing that it’s almost reminiscent of a Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker, or a Mel Brooks movie, but, for kids. Again, Arnett’s Batman is a show stealer, as I was laughing ridiculously hard at most of the jokes poking fun at the Batman mythos. It also doesn’t hurt that the movie has a very charming and talented comedic cast behind it, with supporting roles for Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman, and Liam Neeson, just to name a few.
Aside from a sort of confusing moral/ending, The LEGO Movie is just freaking phenomenal from start to finish. Great casting, great script, unbelievable visuals, on top of a million other awesome things about this movie. I hear that a sequel is already in the works, and personally, I’d wouldn’t mind. In short, The LEGO Movie gets a 4 out of 4 stars from me, and I HIGHLY recommend seeing this at your soonest convenience. Before I leave, a forewarning, the theme song, “Everything is Awesome”, performed Tegan And Sara featuring the Lonely Island, WILL get stuck in your head. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.