Film Review: The LEGO Movie



I’m not honestly sure what I expected of the LEGO™ movie when I sat down in the company of a cinema screen full of children to watch it. Ostensibly, it seemed this would be a movie for kids and for kids who never grew up. Now, I’m not going to make the argument that the second of those doesn’t describe me exactly. From my Thundercats belt buckle to my toy lightsaber, there’s definitely a kid in me that refuses the passing of time, but I have to say LEGO™ is something that I haven’t really touched in years.

Castle SaxondaleNot that I feel it’s too childish for me or that I don’t have very fond memories of it, because I do. I can still feel the double excitement of having won the Castle Saxondale set in a prize draw at a department store. Double excitement, because of the excitement of having won something at all (I don’t think I ever expected to win, in truth) and because it was a set that there was little to no chance I would have received at any other time (it was an expensive set at the time).

Despite this nostalgia, though, I haven’t kept up to date with LEGO™, so I don’t know how excited I was going into the movie. Five minutes in, all doubt has evaporated. Maybe it’s that I’m a sucker for a jaunty number, or maybe it’s the kid in me fighting for survival, or maybe it’s just really good film. But, honestly, who cares why?

What I loved about this film the most was the emotional heart of it, rather than the comedy, and I defy anyone who watches it not to say that. It’s a great comedy movie, sure, with some excellent one liners, some lovely set pieces and a level of Batman that is hilarious. But it’s the emotional heart of this film, the unexpected twist if you like, that makes this film as amazing as it is. I won’t give anything away in case you have yet to see it, but it’s very touching. My friend, Alex, confessed to nearly tearing up and I confessed back that I was right there with him. Nearly tearing up. At a movie about LEGO™. Now that’s a film worth watching.

I can’t really talk about the representations of the LEGO™ in this movie, but that’s because, as I said, I’m not up to date with it. There were some nice bits that I recognised and I’m informed that there were a good number of callbacks to existing sets. I liked that the 1980s something spaceman’s helmet was broken under the chin, just like it seemed to be on every one of those helmets I’ve ever seen or owned, but beyond that I can’t comment too much.

The animation is amazing, so much so that everything looks like real LEGO™ and at times it could have been real life stop animation. I saw it in 2D because 3D is a raft made out of bloated corpses. Sure, in a pinch you can travel across a sea to get back home, but you don’t really enjoy the ride and inevitably you’re attracting the attention of sharks. I don’t feel I missed out, though. The film looks great in 2D and there are some stunning visual moments. The one thing I would say is that at times it was so realistic as to be painful on the eye, but that may have just been because I’d been up till 5am the night before at a theatre after-party and was a little bit hungover. Children and responsible adults probably don’t have those sorts of problems.

The voice acting is great and there are some great cameos. Will Arnett shines as Batman, but you’d expect him to with his history of good voice work (see also Despicable Me). Liam Neeson is also on top voice form, but again he has that kind of pedigree (see also Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The New Generation). Will Ferrell is also outstanding. There’s nothing that I can find fault with in the acting in this film.

And that’s true of everything. I can’t find a fault. Maybe I will when I inevitably cave to the capitalist machine and buy it on DVD, but somehow I doubt it. It’s going to just have to go down in history as an amazing film and that’s that.

I have one niggle. There’s a sequel already in the offing and that worries me. I can see why. Who wouldn’t want to capitalise on the success of this movie and who wouldn’t want to see more LEGO™ based shenanigans? Me. That’s who. This movie is amazing, but I can’t see that a sequel will ever touch this pinnacle or do anything but debase it. I might be wrong and I do hope that if there is a sequel it proves me wrong, but I don’t think it could. This film is just too perfect to need a sequel. Alone it stands and fills us with wonder, like the Colossus of Rhodes. Only made out of LEGO™.

Via LEGO™ cuuso


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