So I finally got around to seeing The Lego Movie. I’ve been waiting awhile for this movie to come out. If you haven’t seen it yet, allow me to forewarn you that I will be talking about it in a level of detail that will undoubtedly spoil part of the plot, so read on at your own risk.
*** Spoiler Alert ***
The movie opens up with a face-off between Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) and Vitruvious (voiced by Morgan Freeman) over a powerful relic… The Kragl! Vitruvious loses the battle, blinded by Lord Business, but there is still hope! He recounts a prophesy that speaks of one who will wield the Piece of Resistance that is able to render The Kragl useless.
After 8 and a half years, enter Emmett Brickowski (voiced by Chris Platt). Emmett follows the instructions he is given in order to have a fulfilling and full life as a construction worker in Bricksburg. They day is spent knocking things down, and then building them up. Even though he is following the instructions as given, his life seems to be anything but fulfilling or full until… amidst the rubble of a knocked down building… he spots a vixen who takes both his speech and his balance away.
After falling into the depths of Bricksburgh, Emmett ignores the instructions about not touching unfamiliar pieces, and finds the Piece of Resistance has attached itself to his back. He is taken into custody, tortured by Bad Cop/Good Cop (voiced by Liam Neeson), and is saved by the very same vixen that has put him into this situation… the sultry Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks).
Together they escape Bricksburg, reunite with Vitruvious, journey to the other Legolands with Wyldstyle‘s sullen and brooding boyfriend, Batman (voiced by Will Arnett). At a gathering of the Master Builders they are joined by none other than Benny, the 1980-Something Space Guy (voiced by Charlie Day)! As Bad Cop/Good Cop assaults the gathering… the movie drops its originality and returns to a familiar formula that can be found in many other movies with real live actors.
While I’m not going to go on a rant about how the storyline is so familiar past this point because I can understand why it becomes so familiar, I will go onto the rant of how the writers used the Toy Story Gimmick to allow real life actors into what should have been an all-Lego cast.
The movie’s strong message of valuing individuality, making choices to determine your own fate, how your life is what you make of it, how everyone is special, and the importance of not being a sheeple suddenly becomes entirely undermined by introducing “The Man Upstairs” as the puppet master. Now the message has become that there is no value in individuality, your choices do not determine your fate, life is what “The Man Upstairs” makes it, no one is really special, and you may as well become a sheeple because it doesn’t matter if you do or don’t. It’s a horrendous unrecoverable turn from the core message that it makes you wonder, is this really a movie or did I just pay for a really long LEGO commercial?
Honestly, I liked the movie. I walked out feeling it was a good movie, although I wish Benny would have had more screen time and more opportunities to build a spaceship. Why? Because I very simply refuse to accept that whole “Man Upstairs” track and have expunged it from my memory. This movie was so extremely creative up to that point (when you realize what the Kragl is, you’ll understand why I say this) that I would still recommend seeing it.