MOVIE REVIEW: The Lego Movie

Emmet Brickowski is just a regular guy, a Lego construction worker in Bricksburg who is at his best when he has a set of instructions to follow. He does everything exactly the way that he’s supposed to, but never gets much notice from anyone. Everything changes when he stays for just a moment at the construction site after everyone has left and he meets a mysterious woman named WyldStyle. Emmet falls into a hole and discovers a strange artifact. He passes out, and wakes up in the custody of Good Cop/Bad Cop a dual personality policeman in the employ of the supreme ruler President Business. The artifact, called the Piece of Resistance, is stuck to Emmett’s back. Wyldstyle rescues him, and they escape Bricksburg together into the Wild West.

She tells him that he is the subject of a prophecy, that he is the most interesting person ever and that he will be the one who saves everyone from President Business. Once upon a time, all of the people of all the lands lived together with a mixture of different and strange cultures and technologies all mixing together. President Business took control split everything into its own places, Bricksburg with its cityscape and the one song that plays all of the time (“Everything is Awesome”), Middle Zealand with its Lord of the Rings kind of look, the Wild West, the pirates in the ocean, and so on. Some small resistance has managed to stay out of President Business’s controlling in Cloud Cuckoo Land where there are no rules except for all the rules about not having rules. Emmett, Wyldstyle, Batman, Metalbeard (a pirate with a prosthetic everything except his head), Unikitty (mix of a cat and a unicorn). Master Builders have gathered there, special people who can build amazing things from just whatever Lego blocks are available to hand. The one of the prophecy is supposed to be a Master Builder, but Emmett doesn’t know how to build anything–he’s so ordinary he can’t think of much at all.

I enjoyed this story thoroughly from beginning to end. I watched it with my wife and a couple of our friends, and we were all laughing throughout, all trying to guess at all the voice actors of which there are many famous and familiar voices. The animation was great, computer graphics with lots of fun little details–when Evan showers in the first scene the water is made up of little clear blue Lego discs, there are some cameos in the background in scenes, the prophet who gave the prophecy has a scepter made of a half-eaten sucker, etc. Great writing, great acting, good all around. Late in the movie there’s some revealed about the real-world place where this Lego story is taking place within and I thought that story was also really solid and tied in with the story of the Lego world nicely and gave this funny and action packed story a surprisingly touching story element.

I highly recommend this movie, if you’re in the mood for some laughs. Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW: The Lego Movie”

  1. This movie was highly entertaining, but I think it needs to be pointed out that the movie does engage in some pretty sexist tropes uncritically. WyldStyle’s introduced as a highly competent Master Builder who’s way more interesting than Emmett, but by the film’s end she’s been reduced to the trophy girl who falls for him because he’s the designated hero. Her introduction is a parody of the typical slow-motion pan-up shot used to highlight the attractiveness of the female lead (the fact that this is done with a character who’s made of rectangular plastic might help sell the absurdity of such practices, but I think the nature of the story and who’s ultimately telling it suggests more strongly that this is being done just because that’s what you do with the female lead, rather than any kind of thoughtful critique of such tropes).

    Besides that, I thought it was a good movie.

  2. Jason–I had heard that before I saw the movie, specifically that it fell into what someone called the “Trinity Syndrome” in which, like in the Matrix series, a female character is set up to be excessively badass early on and then gets to sit in the background for the duration while the men do the heavy lifting.

    I agree with the criticism in The Matrix, but I didn’t personally see the problem with The Lego Movie. WyldStyle did prove herself to be badass very early on, but I felt she contributed valuable work throughout the storyline. She was clearly meant to be the chosen one (even if the prophecy was made up) but just a small coincidence led to the schlub Emmet being chosen instead. Emmet happened to be successful only because his ideas were so stupid that no one would credit them coming from a chosen one, like the bunk bed couch, so I didn’t feel that the movie valued Emmet over WyldStyle, and I never felt that she was just a trophy.

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