Full disclosure: I hate spoilers in reviews, so there won’t be any in THE LEGO MOVIE review. THE LEGO MOVIE is, of course, an animated film, suitable and appropriate for all ages, but don’t be surprised if the adults in the party are laughing louder and longer than the kids. Continue reading for THE LEGO MOVIE review – the first ever, full-length, theatrical LEGO movie, 100% spoiler free.
Just about everything in this movie is made from LEGOs, including the opening credits, though the words in the credits (aside from the title) are made with an embossing machine, like we used to use back in the 80’s to label everything.
We’re introduced to the main characters (though not the hero) in the first few moments of the movie. The story is, essentially, a dispute between Vitruvius and Lord Business (interesting name) over how the world should work and who should have control of the Piece of Resistance. Lord Business wants the world to operate according to instruction and Vitruvius leads a team of Master Builders (as LEGO fans know, Master Builders make creative uses of Lego bricks to create amazing sculptures) and makes a prophecy about “The Special” – a Master Builder of the future who will save them all.
Cut to the future (8 ½ years later) and we see Bricksburg (amazing LEGO city) and finally meet our hero, Emmet. We follow Emmet through a typical day in Bricksburg (he’s a construction worker – this film is full of this type of giggle-inducing gags). As a model citizen of Bricksburg and a loyal follower of President Business, he follows instructions throughout the day until something unusual catches his eye and he meets Wyldstyle, who leads him accidentally into an adventure like nothing he’s ever dreamed possible: the quest for the Piece of Resistance. The question is whether or not someone who’s been a model citizen all his life can be a Master Builder.
There are a couple of themes running through THE LEGO MOVIE, which seem to be at odds, but are combined credibly and meaningfully in this skillfully-crafted story. Primarily, it’s a movie about conformism vs. creative individualism, but it’s also about teamwork and identifying strengths and using them thoughtfully and carefully to achieve goals. It’s about believing in yourself and being yourself. For the record, in the context of this movie, I am a conformist, but have always greatly admired the creative individualists.
THE LEGO MOVIE is full of pop culture references that will make you chuckle and even laugh out loud. The LEGO pieces will make you nostalgic for all the great LEGO kits you’ve ever built (or wanted to build), from Octan to Batman to Star Wars and even Duplo. It was so much fun watching the scenery and remembering kits I’d built in the past (yes, I am a LEGO fan). Most, if not all, of the pieces and minifigs (pay attention to the voices) are actual LEGO pieces and characters. Speaking of voices, the voice-acting in THE LEGO MOVIE is fantastic. Creating voices for these characters, some of whom are beloved pop-culture figures, must be daunting, but Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman and the entire cast did a great job. Mark Mothersbaugh created some great music for this movie, including an earworm of an anthem: “Everything Is Awesome.”
THE LEGO MOVIE can be enjoyed by the entire family (even the little ones will enjoy watching their toys come to life on the big screen). Watch through the credits for some fun LEGO constructions and a reprise of Batman’s song. You can find LEGO Movie kits in stores now. Keep an eye out for the 2-in-1 kits, where the pieces inside can be used to build two alternate sculptures. At LEGO Stores, you can find the Piece of Resistance kit, which is currently free with a $50 purchase (not limited to LEGO Movie merchandise). There are also some fun activities and games on the official THE LEGO MOVIE website.
THE LEGO MOVIE opens in theaters on Friday, February 7, 2014. Are you looking forward to the film? If you’ve already seen it, please leave your thoughts in the comments below. For more family movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.