The Lego Movie (2014)

I miss the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker days where slapstick and parody ruled the silver screen. Sounds like Christopher Miller and Phil Lord felt the same way, but decided to do something about it: first with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, then with 21 Jump Street, and now with this gem. The Lego Movie had no right to be this good.


A coming of age made of plastic.

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Only five minutes in and this movie has already proven that it should be obligatory viewing for anyone remotely interested in crafting comedy for the big screen. The humor is so infectious that it inspired Tegan and Sara to write 2014’s biggest earworm yet. Plus, the first few visual gags clearly show that the stop-motion inspired design is a stroke of genius. Thank god I’m not an ant, or my antennas would be in full funny data overload right now.

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This will be a breakout year for Chris Pratt. From the looks of it, he has all the right tools to make it, be it in comedy, drama or action. Here, though, he’s just having fun by lending his voice to the most generic guy ever. Emmett is full of life and plain happy to be a living, breathing Lego person. The way Pratt voices him is hilarious, in that most of his jokes are based around unintentional humor. I’m still shocked at how good he was in this role.

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Unexpected is the definite buzzword here. The Cop character is a chair-kicking, face-swapping, word-spitting complete badass. But also nicely creepy. How did Liam Neeson hide his comedic timing for this long?

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Here comes wacky Wyldstyle (is she a DJ?) and her dark, mysterious boyfriend to explain that Lord Business basically decided to separate Lego sets with walls because he takes his craft too seriously. His giant ‘fuck you’ to creativity is a nice touch, as there was no backstory or source material to work with, yet it’s the most organic way to use these little toys for storytelling purposes. Better than Battleship, anyway.

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Turns out Emmett isn’t special. He doesn’t have any particular gift or ideas to help the plastic people. Soon, everyone turns on him because of it. It’s a story I can relate to, especially since the point got hammered home all movie long. By the end, he kinda finds his place, but doesn’t magically become a strong leader for no reason. He simply finds himself in the crowd, just like everyone needs to do in life.

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There’s a huge surprise in the middle-to-end part of the movie that I decided not to spoil for my editor. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about and, hopefully, you were totally on board with it like I was. The writers are geniuses.

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What was bound to happen happened: everyone got together to unleash creative juices and take the road back to happiness. Everything is awesome indeed.

7 Comments on The Lego Movie (2014)

  1. Simon D. Gallant

    Think about it. Back in the day, Legos were just construction toys. As the decades passed, it turned into an empire. Various popular franchises united with the company so they could have their own themed set of plastic bricks. Then, we saw video games, television shows, you name it, they’ve done it. And now, we get movies. Quality movies, mind you. I’m not sure Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen thought it would go as far as it is now, but I’m pretty sure he would be damn proud. Obviously, he’d be pretty satisfied knowing the Lego Group became a gigantic success story, but I’m mostly referring to the fact that The Lego Movie gets a RECORD rating on The Critic’s Remote, which is, to me, the greatest achievement one can hope for!

    • Yeah, that’s a bold rating for sure! I’m hyped for this movie… Opening in 2 weeks here (in Thailand).

      P.S.: Yannick revised his score to a Rewind… Guess I’m STILL hyped because now I want to judge by myself whether it deserves a Rewind or a Record.

  2. So! I finally saw this. (Just came out this week in Thailand.) It was indeed awesome!

    About the twist… Guess we can talk about it now since I, the aforementioned editor, saw it. 🙂

    I wasn’t completely on board with it. I hate to say it, but it broke immersion for me. I think I saw the world of the Lego Movie as a sort of Platonic Lego world, from whence all Lego bricks come from. I didn’t envision all the sets we saw as belonging in someone’s basement. I mean, it was heavily hinted at that this was a classical conflict between “follow the instructions” and “use your imagination,” and I preferred when it was more of a philosophical debate than an actual story between a son and his dad.

    And frankly, I’m confused as to what I’m supposed to believe. Is the story of Emmett all in the kid’s head? We’re supposed to believe it is because logic breaks when the kid and his father get involved. But then, how did Emmett “move” himself off the table?

    I’m not saying I hated this part. It was clever, and it reminded me, oddly enough, of The Matrix, and that was kinda cool. But I think it weakened the movie by 1) making its metaphors painfully obvious, and 2) making the characters just a subset of the conflict between two characters we knew nothing about.

    Hey, fun fact: when you look at Lord Business from behind, he looks exactly like a red tie, which Will Ferrell wears in the “real” world.

    • I’m disappointed by your reaction, but I get it. It tops the movie off with an unnecessary layer of complexion. I stand by my first impression though: this unexpected piece of context can lead the way to a lot more exploration of human emotions through plastic toys. Next time, we could be introduced to new characters and new concepts just by switching basements. By highlighting the importance of imagination on both levels, it also stays true to the original concept of Legos.

      I wish your smile would have gotten wider with this reveal just like mine. 🙂

      • Haha. I actually hope we get to see the “baby sister invasion” for a sequel, but I’m not holding my breath. 🙂

        But yeah, you’re right, it does stay true to the idea of Lego. I dug that they wrote the entire conflict around two opposing philosophies of Lego bricks, building exactly the plan or letting your imagination roam free.

        You know, when I think of it… The Lego Movie = Toy Story + The Matrix

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