Today’s Movie Review – The LEGO Movie (2014)

The LEGO Movie was the number one movie this weekend, and had the second largest February opening, right behind Passion of the Christ back in 2004, with just short of $70 million. My girlfriend and I were among the millions earned this weekend, as we stopped by our local cineplex and watched the movie in 3D. The movie didn’t disappoint, and I was enthralled from the first minute.

It isn’t often that a movie transports you immediately to your childhood. I’ve experienced the sensation a few times in the past few years of watching movies: seeing The Lion King (again) when it was released in 3D was a treat, and reminded me of when I first saw the movie as a teenager at the Reel Theater in Magna, Utah. Hearing Optimus Prime speak for the first time in the first Michael Bay Transformers “reboot” was the best part of any of those three movies. Finally, Wreck-It Ralph contained enough video game nostalgia to make any fan of ’80s and ’90s video games enjoy themselves.

As a life-long fan of LEGOs, when I heard about the movie, I was pretty excited to see what they were going to do with it. The LEGO brand of video games have always been among my favorite casual games, and “building” an entire movie out of LEGOs had the same potential of being awesome. Speaking of awesome…

But it was more than just making the movie from LEGOs that made the movie wonderful. The movie is about Emmett (Chris Pratt), a generic construction worker that always follows the instructions, even though nothing ever comes of it. Try as he might, he never gets to hang out with the other workers, and when asked, nobody remembers who he is. Nevertheless, Emmett is anointed as The Special by Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), fulfilling a prophecy by the wise and blind wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). Emmett and crew must band together to combat the evil President Business (Will Ferrell) and stop him from doing something that will be terrible for all of the little LEGO folks in their various environments.

The movie ultimately has some truly endearing moments, and the reveal of the true bad guy was a little unexpected, but it is ultimately about looking in yourself and finding the thing that makes you truly special. Without spoiling too much, it’s obvious that Emmett is going to figure out what makes him special and save the day, but what that entails, and how it happens was a little unexpected. The reveal is a traditional sappy moment and nearly brought tears to my eyes, but it was well worth it.

The wide range of voice actors really is impressive. In addition to those mentioned above, you also have Will Arnett voicing Batman, Alison Brie as a weird cat-unicorn hybrid named Unikitty, Charlie Day as Manny, an ’80s Spaceman LEGO figurine, Liam Neeson as President Business’s lead henchman Bad Cop/Good Cop, Nick Offerman as Metal Beard, a “robot” made from a destroyed pirate ship, and Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as Green Lantern and Superman, respectively.

As mentioned previously, we watched the movie in 3D, but I don’t think that is totally necessary. The 3D was very subtle and not terribly easy to notice, which often is best. There are plenty of “adult” jokes, but a lot of the kids at our showing were laughing at the same jokes as well. It truly is an enjoyable film, and one that will probably lead to a sequel, which will probably be just as enjoyable with even more fancy voice acting.

Until next time…

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