In looking back over 2014, we’re pretty fond of a lot of family titles. High on the list is The Lego Movie, which was released back in February and has grossed over $480,000 worldwide. ‘Tis the Season to watch movies together as a family and this film will capture all imaginations, from the wee ones to the grandparents.
My nine year-old has seen it twice and gives The Lego Movie “Five out of five stars”. My husband and I concur. It’s the kind of movie you can see several times because there is so much going on … so many little visual and dialogue gems, many of which you’ll undoubtedly miss the first time around.
Therein lies the unexpected success of this little film. For little kids there is a clear, easy story about an everyman construction worker named Emmet (Chris Pratt) who becomes involved with a girl named Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) to save the world from evil Lord Business (Will Farrell). Emmet is considered by the world to be forgettable, but by Wildstyle and her crew to be “the special”. It’s a classic good guys and bad guys story with a “believe in yourself” message made all the more relatable because it all looks like Lego.
For adults there exists a whole other satiric movie, laced with irreverent humor and innuendo. Witty pop culture jokes from Star Wars to Taco Tuesdays fly by. Suffice it to say, I have read that the Lego Batman character, voiced perfectly by Will Arnett, is getting his own spin off movie (2018) and well it should. It’s one of the better Batman send-ups I’ve ever seen. His relationship with Green Lantern alone, is worth it!
But what’s really interesting is that the crazy anarchy of the animated movie, the stuff of dreams, is also grounded in real life. There is a live action framework to the movie (also starring Will Farrell) that makes it relatable on a whole other level. That’s just good old-fashioned storytelling.
The Lego Movie is directed and written by Phil Lord and Christopher Williams, whose other films include Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and both 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street. Here they deliver a sharp and amusingly satiric landscape, that still manages to have heart and sentiment. Not an easy trick. There is a song in the movie that’s supposed to be annoying but somehow isn’t by the end that sums up the whole film: “Everything is Awesome.”
N.B. The film is available on Amazon and the DVD is in stores.