Movie Review: The LEGO Movie

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie

The-LEGO-Movie.jpgThe LEGO Movie is far better writ­ten and directed than you have any right to expect. On the surface it is basi­cally a cash in on the brands popu­lar­ity. It would have been so easy just to skate through with some jokes and licensed figures to prop things up.

Instead what we get is a multi-layered movie that can satisfy a vari­ety of audi­ences and that has been crafted with what has to be love for the source mate­r­ial (yes I’m talk­ing about plas­tic bricks).

On the surface we have a fast paced mixture of action and jokes that will keep kids pretty enter­tained. There’s also another layer of jokes clearly aimed at the  adults (80s refer­ences, Star­bucks coffee etc.) This is not the most orig­i­nal mate­r­ial but it’s done well.

However, we’ve barely scratched the surface. For exam­ple when the master builders in the movie put together new items, we see cata­log numbers. Yes the LEGO cata­log numbers for those parts. Because the movie isn’t just a LEGO Anima­tion it’s a faith­ful anima­tion of actual LEGO parts.

How faith­ful? Even the water and the flames and the smoke are LEGO bricks (well computer modeled versions of LEGO bricks) but the point is they completely embrace the LEGO model concept and it’s gorgeous to look at.

LEGO has a pretty good track record when it comes to computer anima­tion, but this is on a whole other level. The textur­ing here is remark­able. These models have the imper­fec­tions that real LEGO bricks have. They are word, scratch or have bite marks. They are just amaz­ingly life­like LEGO.

Some of the models that are created and destroyed as the action zooms along look fantas­tic and I almost wanted the abil­ity to freeze frame in the theater to get a better look at them.

Its obvi­ous to me that the people behind this love LEGO.

And it shows in other ways too. While we do get the tradi­tional and kid friendly messages about being your­self and accep­tance, we also get a message for the adults about embrac­ing the kid in you.

But while that last message may come across heavy handed at times, it’s also clear that the creators (and LEGO) really do believe that their toy isn’t just about follow­ing the picture instruc­tions (also lovingly recre­ated in the movie) and build­ing the exist­ing model. That’s the start­ing point and you go from there. And so the movie exhorts you to be creative, to break a few rules and to make new things out of old.

Speak­ing of stories (I think I was at some point) it did seem from the trail­ers as though some of the cameos might domi­nate the movie, but they really don’t. Batman is the only one who gets more than a few minutes screen­time and he is the but of a lot of jokes. But the real plot and char­ac­ter devel­op­ment comes from Wild­style and Emmett.

Emmett is our (delib­er­ately generic and bland) protag­o­nist, but Wild­style gets to develop beyond the but kick­ing female trope into some­thing a little deeper as well. They both get their moments to shine. It’s a sweet story that’s not over-played.

It’s hard to imag­ine anyone coming out of the movie theater with anything less than a grin on their face after watch­ing this film.

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About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?