The Lego Movie took the movie industry by storm with a surprising $69 million opening weekend. Currently still atop of the box office movie charts, The Lego movie is sitting comfortably in 1st place, and here’s why. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, The Lego movie stars Chris Pratt (Emmet), Elizabeth Banks (Wildstyle), Will Arnett (Batman), Will Ferrell (Lord/President Business), Morgan Freeman (Vitruvius) and Liam Neeson (Good Cop/Bad Cop). The comedy in the movie is equally centered to be understandable for a younger audience and enjoyable for a older audience. It is rated PG for animated action/adventure/comedy.
Emerging from a flowing lava bed, heading towards a giant volcano, the Movie Begins. Reminiscent of a famous scene from “The Lord of The Rings,” we come across Vitruvius ( a Gandalf looking wizard in the fight of his life). It is during this opening scene, filled with comical quarrels and cinematic Lego action, that we have a glimpse of what the rest of the movie would entail. “…all of this must be true, because it rhymes.” is a comical pun spoken by Vitruvius to Lord Business revealing the existence of a prophecy. This prophecy that the wizard speaks of is said to be what could ultimately stop Lord Business’s evil plan. Vitruvius continues to unravel the details of the prophecy , foreshadowing the coming events in the movie, and doing no more then humoring the evil Lord Business. “…You just made that up!” is the last thing we hear from Lord Business as the scene closes with a bang and time is sped up to the current date.
The setting starts in Bricksburg where all citizens follow the town’s rules. Under the direction of President Business, each Lego citizen has a manual that maps out exactly what to do and when to do so. Everything is going perfectly for everyday, ordinary Emmet (a rule following citizen of Bricksburg) who has just awaken and begins his monotonous routine of following his instruction booklet. This book, provided by the president, outlines exactly what the citizens of Bricksburg should do, any day and for any situation. Emmet starts his day as normally and perfectly as possible only to end with something his rule book never prepared him for, a quest! How did he get here you ask, while working at his not so special construction site, Emmet comes across Wildstyle, a girl intruding in his construction site after hours. While hopelessly entranced by her beauty, Emmet plunges into a deep hole and finds the “piece of resistance” which is explained in Vitruvius’s prophecy. From here on out the pace of the action sequences picks up and Emmet, accompanied by Wildstyle, must traverse different realms and try to stop Lord Business’ plan. Aided with the assistance of other Master-builders, this quest will be the biggest thing in Emmet’s life, but is he ready for it?
According to Vitruvius’ words, only a “Master-builder” can help stop Lord Business’ plan, never having an original thought of his own and constantly being dismissed as not so special, Emmet struggles with coming to believe that he is the hero in the prophecy. This movie long feeling allows the directors to incorporate core morals and themes that are perfect for developing children. This journey suggests such themes as self confidence, belief and being true to yourself. Emmet throughout the movie starts to realize his individual abilities and trust in himself when they start to meet up with other Master Builders. This guild of extraordinary talents consists of many super heroes easily recognizable by adolescents such as, Batman, Superman and the Ninja Turtles. “Don’t Worry about what everyone else is doing, use what’s special about you” is a powerful quote during Emmet’s darkest hour, spoken to him by the wise Vitruvius. While everyone else is consumed with all of these amazing building talents that Emmet lacks, he starts to lose faith in himself. Making way for another important moral in the movie, which is to use what is special about yourself to get the job done. This teaches children that although others may have flashy talents, everyone has something special about themselves that can help contribute to any project.
Despite being a Lego constructed movie, some of the backdrops really stand out on the big screen. Take for instance the city shots of Bricksburg, although the roads and sidewalks are very much Lego-Y, the buildings are surprisingly well built. Keep in mind that the Title is The Lego Movie, so do not look for the expensive CG effects found in everyday action movies. Even as the characters walk around or take showers, it still presents the block-like elements in place of a flowing scenario. However, if you can get past the limited movements and absence of special effects, you should be able to really enjoy the content of the movie. Here are some of the Pros and Cons of the visual effects evident in the movie. One upside to having a Lego based film, is that you ca have the transforming effect. When Lord Business walks and want to show his dominance, his legs seem to transform and elevate in a smooth transition. Another pro for creating a Lego based movie, is the constructing of vehicles. Several examples throughout the movie showcases how one can realistically construct Lego pieces by showing a sped up version of a building project. This not only looks attractive on camera, but its provides a realistic feel for a younger audience. It’s something familiar that they can relate with and boosts morale to show that kids can have a similar Lego experience on their own. On the downside to an older audience the effects may look childish. A generation used to awesome visual effects from a film such as “Transformers” may not appreciate the falling blocks of water or block like cloud features presented in this movie.
The voice over acting in this moving is tremendous. Beloved Characters like Batman are believable and the comical spin on things makes this an enjoyable experience for viewers of any age. I truly enjoyed this movie and cannot wait for it come out on DVD. I would recommend this movie to anyone, it really has the makings of a quality animated comedy similar to Shrek that can stick around for a long time.