A surprising maturity in “The Lego Movie”

Nathan Fisher

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Illustration by Luke Hampton.

Even though my bedroom at home is filled with my years of Lego projects, the trailers for “The Lego Movie” seemed dull and boring. When a couple of buddies and I were searching for a movie to see on Friday, we were shocked to see that “The Lego Movie” was rated at 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Nothing else grabbed us, so our gang of five (two 6-feet-5-inch-tall guys, two guys who could bench press my car and one girl) joined throngs of screaming kiddos and their exhausted parents for “The Lego Movie.” When the closing credits ended, I was exhausted from laughing, and I probably enjoyed the movie more than the kids.

“The Lego Movie” follows Emmet (Chris Pratt) who lives a boring, ordinary, by-the-book life––he literally reads a book on how to live his life. Emmet goes to work each day happy and singing, happily buys his overpriced $37 coffee and says hi to all his neighbors. On the surface, Emmet seems rather dull. One day, Emmet sees a beautiful Lego girl named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) searching through the Lego pieces at his construction site. Emmet runs after her and ends up being mistaken as the most extraordinary person in the Lego world. He gets roped into an adventure to fight the evil President Business (Will Ferrell) and his henchman Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson) from releasing the Kragle (super glue) and freezing the whole Lego universe. Working alongside Emmet are the master builders, iconic Lego characters voiced by a plethora of Hollywood icons. A few of the characters assisting Emmet are Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), Batman (Will Arnett), Superman (Channing Tatum), ’80s Spaceman (Charlie Day), Craggy (Nick Offerman), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill) and Shaq (Shaquille O’Neil himself).

Oh, did I mention that Emmet is a Lego man? That’s right, the movie is based in a Lego universe and the world is built with colorful squares and rectangles, which is so childish and stupid––or so I thought going in. Instead, “The Lego Movie” manages to pull off a fresh and surreal movie that blends the genres of romantic comedy, adventure and inventive animation, and it pulls the odd concoction together with a witty fast-paced script. The movie was obviously made for kids, but the cultural commentary and biting humor is made for audiences of all ages.

“The Lego Movie” proved to be pure entertainment, and my preconceived notions about a movie have never been so wrong. The sharp writing, clever Lego-filled animation and talented voice cast hit a home run. The “Star Wars” spoof with Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels reprising a Lego version of Lando and C-3PO is worth the price of admission alone. Sure, “The Lego Movie” is no doubt a great marketing scheme for the Lego company, but for me it was money well spent for lots of chuckles and laughs. To quote one of my friends, “We enjoyed that movie way too much!” Bottom line: swallow your pride and go see this great out-of-the-box––literally––flick.

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