Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Lego Movie

Plot: Emmet is a Lego construction worker in a Lego town, and he tears down old buildings and builds new ones exactly according to plan. President Business runs the town, and he wants to glue all the Lego's together in place. Emmet thinks that's okay, but he meets Wyldstyle --think of Trinity from The Matrix,  who rescues him and takes him to a prophet Vitruvius, who calls him "The Special", who will stop the glue with a special Lego piece called the Piece of Resistance. Emmet gets this piece quickly, but President Business keeps trying to take it away. They visit several Lego worlds different themes, just like the play sets have different themes castles, pirates, fantasy, superhero, and planes. Soon President Business corners them, and then the movie takes an unexpected twist. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Very clever script that is ironic on multiple levels.  Most generally, it is a satire on American consumer society, and the mindlessness of work and the corruption of politics. It has time to parody of pop music, TV sitcoms, action movies, and the unexamined life generally.

While Lego kits all come with directions, the film ridicules directions, and builds toward a bohemian ideal. At one point, the character just says "plot point" and "backstory," to explain a plot twist. I thought it was cute, and the kids in the audience seemed to think it was OK -- dumber than most kid's movie plots.

The visuals are gimmicky; generally slight animations on CGI Lego blocks, but the animations are fast, and the scenes are creative, colorful and dynamic. There are many visual jokes like a room being flooded by Lego water, made of little blocks. I like the surface of the Lego ocean as the waves cast to and fro. On the other hand, the character's faces are too pretty plain, and unexpressive.

Besides the irony and the satire, I liked the twist ending, which is just a perfect ending.

The characters are voiced by celebrities. I wish they'd hire regular actors and not an endless list of cameo celebrities. Morgan Freeman's voice was distracting. Will Farrell is one-of-a-kind though. I liked him.

Cast: Will Ferrell, many voice actors, many animators

Directed by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Rating: 3.25 stars: Clever, Fun, Funny, and I want to see it again. On the other hand, not so great in character development. I liked the satire. There is lots to talk about. Although I loved it, I don't love it as much as the 3.5 star movies from last year, so 3.25 is it -- although I hate giving the quarter star ranking.

More: Amazon has 17 Lego sets based not the movie.  President Business lives on.

Even More: "Everything is Awesome" is the vacuous and infectious pop that fills the minds of the populous in Lego land.  Earworm.

There are two other versions on the soundtrack. This version has rap; but rap is too rebellious for the movie.

Yet More: I love Princess Unikitty's monolog.