THE TAKE AWAY
The Lego Movie
By Kersley Fitzgerald
So JT and I went to see The Lego Commercia-, I mean The Lego Movie, and a grand time was had by all. It opens with Lord Business (Will Farrell) stealing a catastrophic weapon, the "Kragle," from the blind Wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). But mid-theft, Vitruvius interrupts the villain's monologue to prophesy the existence of "The Special" — a hero who will discover the Piece of Resistance, disarm the weapon, and save the world.
In love yet?
Fast forward several years and Lord Business is now President Business. He has inundated Lego City with rules and directions and zippy songs that keep everyone happy. No one is happier than Emmet, the world's most generic construction worker, who loves directions, loves the songs, but is so generic he can't quite figure out how to make friends. One day after work he falls through a cavern beneath his construction site and finds the Piece of Resistance. Hijinks ensue which I can't tell you about without giving too much away.
The Lego Movie has a lot for kids. There are butt jokes, wild action, frenetic colors, stupid dialogue, and Batman. It's a story about creativity and believing in yourself. It's about how not only can the most normal of us be the hero, all of us can be the hero in some way. The plot has a lot of good points, like the value of leadership, friendship, positive attitudes, and understanding how sometimes you need directions and sometimes you need to be creative.
But, oh my ears and whiskers, I have rarely laughed so hard at a movie. Harder than I did for Rhino the hamster on Bolt. There were so many inside jokes, starting with Morgan Freeman voicing a Lego, all the way through to the Duplos of destruction. Even better, the jokes weren't inappropriate for kids, and they didn't slow the action down.
It's inevitable that one movie would echo others that came before it. The Lego Movie had shades of Kung Fu Panda, Tron Legacy, and Where the Wild Things Are. There is one female lead (a Matrix Trinity-type character) and one co-lead (a kitty/unicorn) — stick with Frozen for role models for girls.
The biggest negative is both inevitable and the entire meta-point of the movie: it's a 100-minute commercial. Before we'd left the theater, JT was itching to get home and play with his Legos — and dreaming about the new kits he wanted to get. Clever, too, that the plot took the main characters through several different Lego worlds (although I was surprised there was so little Ninjago). Still, I can't complain too much. Better playing with Legos than playing video games. And, unlike other movies JT's become enamored with (see: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2), I could definitely watch this movie again.
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