Creating a movie from a brand, a toy, a product, is a very risky, lazy, potential-filled thing to do. Often times, they do not turn out very good (see: Battleship, or, you know, don’t) and, sometimes, they turn out pretty decent (see: the first Transformers, the perfect summer blockbuster). Films based on products have earned a reputation, or lack of respect rather, because it’s essentially a 90 minute commercial.
But Hollywood is in the business of selling, the business of selling itself, their product and all that that entails so I’m less inclined to judge a film because it’s based on an existing property that doesn’t actually have a plot. Disney & Pixar made a lot of money off of the Cars movies and not because they’re particularly good but because they sold a lot of merchandise. So what makes them any different from this? Nothing. Is The Lego Movie one long commercial for LEGO? Of course. Is it really good? Yes. Can the two go together? Yes.
The Lego Movie tells the story of Emmet (wonderfully voiced by Chris Pratt) a completely ordinary and average guy who is mistaken to be extraordinary and the key to saving the LEGO world. He, along with a slew of friends (the voice cast includes Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman and Charlie Day) set out on an out of their world journey.
… The tone of the movie is for everyone but the jokes are mostly for adults and the visuals are mostly for kids; they do a great job of really making this movie for everyone.
The Lego Movie is this generation’s Toy Story. Yes, that is a hyperbole and I’m sticking by it. I’m not saying it’s Toy Story, I’m saying it’s this generation’s Toy Story. It becomes this generation’s story in the final act, and I’m not going to spoil it for you, but just trust me on this.
The Lego Movie succeeds in being more than a commercial thanks to a script by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (also the directors of the movie). These guys brought us 21 Jump Street and the first Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, so, are you surprised? No. Their previous work is important because with 21 Jump Street, they were able to make something work that really shouldn’t have and with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, well, they were able to make one of the funniest and best animated movies ever. The script for The Lego Movie is so, so good; it’s so funny, so smart, and so appropriately geared to both children and adults. Whatever jokes the children don’t get, it doesn’t matter because they’re too busy being mesmerized by what is happening on screen. The animation is stunning, the voice work is outstanding (Pratt, Arnett and Banks in particular) and, surprisingly, it strikes an emotional chord; the movie and it’s characters are fully realized, more so than you can possibly imagine.
As mentioned, the tone of the movie is for everyone but the jokes are mostly for adults and the visuals are mostly for kids; they do a great job of really making this movie for everyone. The only issue I had with it might be that it’s a bit too chaotic for my taste: I love the movie, a lot, but there is a lot happening all at once. But again, it’s so sweet, so funny, so smart and so, so good. The Lego Movie is a brilliant, chaotic, hilarious film that is for everyone.
The Lego Movie is in theatres everywhere.