My childhood consisted of making Lego, my mother would buy me some epic sets with Castles and I would have a blast building them or just making my own creations and collecting the figures. Lego isn’t something we just grow out of, even now I enjoy building Lego and sharing my love of that with my niece. It seemed only logical for Lego to brand out with video games and films for the DVD market.
The games are so much fun and extremely cute, I have had a blast playing them. Learning about Lego making a big cinematic film was so exciting for me, and finally the film has hit Australian shores (to coincide with School Holidays). I was lucky enough to attend the Melbourne Premiere (thanks to Roadshow) with my family, and in a way this kind of really brought the love of Lego full circle for me, going to see the film with my niece. However did the film live up to the hype that surrounded it, was it a big advertisement for Lego? Read on …
I will get this out of the way first, THE LEGO MOVIE does not feel like an ad for its products, in fact it never does pander to the crowd. It shows Lego old and new, and its aim is to give the audience their favourite toy is a different way. We all wished our Lego’s would move and talk and build themselves, the film gives us that fantasy and it is highly enjoyable in that way. Although once leaving the theatre I was reminded of how much I loved to build Lego and yes I did buy a set from the film and I do have most of the mini figures from the film. Consciously though I never felt like their aim was for me to go buy the product, their aim for me was enjoyment. I guess for them it is a bonus that audiences members will buy the product, but since they are such a huge machine already they don’t need to advertise any more than they do.
The film takes place in a city made of Lego, and our main character of Emmet (Chris Pratt) is as unoriginal as they come. He enjoys his life and doesn’t have any original thoughts, however one day after work at the construction site he stumbles across a woman known as Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), which leads him to discover the Piece Of Resistance. It sticks it his back and gives him weird visions. Little does he know that discovering this makes him The Special, the most extraordinary man in the entire world and it has given him the power to stop Lord Business/President Business (Will Ferrell) from using the Kragle to destroy the world. This whole concept was a prophecy that Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) made over 8 years prior. But can the most ordinary Lego man actually be The Special and save the world from an epic villain?
What I loved about this film is that it does in fact take the most unoriginal premise and makes it something extremely special. In a way it does poke fun at its own premise, which is kind of the point. It spoofs in a way the same old typical story, a prophecy and a chosen one (THE MATRIX comes to mind), but it makes it a really fun adventure with a lot of humour infused and a cast of highly entertaining characters. There are so many little moments that will certainly make the adults in the audience laugh (the over priced coffee, the confusion over Gandalf and Dumbledore) and the kids will have fun at the characters who get to interact together. Each main character is a fully realised one and they do get development throughout. Batman (Will Arnett) is as hilarious as you would think, being an egomaniac and pretty silly, Unikitty (Alison Brie) was adorable and just so much fun, 80’s Something Spaceman (Charlie Day) certainly brought me back to my childhood as I had that same figure. The real highlight for me though was Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson) who stole every scene he was in, the performance by Neeson was fantastic and he certainly can do comedy well.
While I don’t want to reveal the big twist of the film, and despite all the clues I actually didn’t see it coming. Not only was it a brave move, but it worked so well and it added a lot more heart to it. It is a twist that will likely hit the adults a lot harder because it does hit close to home. At the end of the day THE LEGO MOVIE is an absolute blast, it really is a great time but it is also a highly intelligent comedy. It will be a film that will get watched over and over and not just by the kids (I can’t wait to watch it again) and remain a great bridge between a beloved toy and childhood.