‘Lego Movie’ powerful, entertaining

Posted March 6, 2014


After the title wave of 2014 Oscar nominated films receded, “The Lego Movie” washed up on Hollywood’s sandy shores and blew all of its box office competition out of the water.

To say that this film surpassed expectations is an understatement. Then again, with such a star-studded cast it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and countless other recognizable names, “The Lego Movie” reached audiences in a way that animated movies haven’t been able to do since “Toy Story.”

“The Lego Movie” definitely starts with a bang as the wizard Vitruvius attempts to protect the Kragle, a super weapon, from the evil Lord Business. The film really hits its groove when the main character, Emmet, is introduced and the social commentary of the movie becomes apparent

Emmet lives in a perfect Lego city, where everything has a place and everything is in its place. All of the citizens of this Lego city love singing along to the popular song, “Everything Is Awesome,” and laughing to the recurring gags in the hit TV show, “Where Are My Pants?”

“The Lego Movie” is full of social and political satire. The satire is thinly disguised through the character of Lord Business, who literally creates everything in the Lego society. From generic pop music to rigged voting machines, Lord Business is responsible for it all.

These heavy themes will go right over the heads of children in the audience, but will hit close to home for all adults. Don’t worry, there are plenty of laugh a minute gags to keep the kids entertained.

As the film progresses, the jokes begin to feel a bit stale, and the pacing seems to drag as the action builds. The ending is slightly disappointing, as the deus ex machina solution to the film’s conflict does not match the overall feel or message of “The Lego Movie.” The last scene felt especially forced as it simply serves to set audiences up for a sequel.

Overall, “The Lego Movie” is a powerful film that will entertain parents and children alike. Clearly movie goers agree, as the film just recently finished its third week at the top of the weekend box office charts, beating out newer releases such as “Pompeii.”

One of the movie’s best moments comes when the character of Batman, voiced by Will Arnett, is introduced. His character is presented as a foil to the typical law abiding Lego citizen and, as such, he does not conform to Lord Business‘ cookie cutter policies. Instead, Batman is a real artist who writes dark and brooding songs about being an orphan.

“Star Wars” fans also got a special treat with the surprise appearance of the Millennium Falcon carrying Hans Solo, C-3PO and Lando Calrissian. The latter two were actually voiced by their original actors, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams respectively.

Most feature length toy commercials are utter failures, but “The Lego Movie” manages to succeed where “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” failed. Don’t be surprised if sales of Lego toys skyrocket in the near future.

“The Lego Movie” was able to shift the narrative at a time when it seemed the only movies people wanted to discuss were “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “American Hustle.” Let’s just hope the already planned sequel doesn’t tarnish the legacy this film is sure to leave behind.

  • “The Lego Movie”
  • MPAA rated PG
  • 1 hour, 41 minutes
  • Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
  • Released Feb. 7, 2014
  • Playing at Paragon Grove 13, Regal South Beach Stadium 18, LeJeune Cinemas VI, AMC Sunset Place 24 and AMC Mall of the Americas 14