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May 4, 2014 | by  | in Arts Film |
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The Lego Movie [Review]

The world is surely brainwashed. This movie can do absolutely no wrong. Rotten Tomatoes has given it a score of 96%. ‘Everything Is Awesome’ is widely considered to be one of the most hilarious yet philosophical yet stupid theme songs like ever. It seamlessly bridges the maturity gap between adults and children, flying high with Batman puns and an underhand satire of our blind belief in neoliberalism. It’s the best animated film to hit Hollywood. It’s the best film of 2014. It’s possibly the best movie in the history of all cinema. Long live Lego, the bricks with little circles on top, and remarkable branding.

It is a completely insane experience. Like a neurotic kid on a sugar high the pace borders on manic. The characters are ridiculous. Unikitty, a cat with a horn and negativity suppressing personality disorder. Emmet, the mistake of a star whose only original thought in his drab, conformist lifetime is a double-decker couch. The pirate scenes are irritating. President Business was an evil guy with an evil scheme that bores you because he is so obviously evil. Abraham Lincoln makes an appearance, Morgan Freeman’s voice is beautiful as always and I have to say that Batman voiced by Will Arnett is so batty you never want him to leave the frame. It so poignantly reflects the imagination and the unlimited free licence Lego itself gives its users. You are left exhausted and overloaded yet somehow satisfied. Movies of its kind, i.e. for kids, are often so boringly sensible in chasing the worthy goal of teaching important life lessons. The Lego Movie is fantastically overwhelmingly ludicrous, just like our imaginations should be.

A cup of coffee in this Legoworld costs $37. In the beginning, Emmet is paralysed into being dull and ordinary by following the instruction manual, literally, to the letter. He watches that one TV show that everyone watches Where Are My Pants?; listens to that one song everyone listens to; and thinks everything is unfailingly awesome without question. You can’t miss this movie’s blatant satirical stab at our capitalist culture and global obsession with economic conformity. Slightly ironic since Lego is most certainly capitalising the profit-making potential of this film (a sequel is already planned, video game already released, plus the usual hordes of useless merchandise) but it’s refreshing to finally have a mainstream critique of our mainstream culture.

Upon first seeing the trailer last year, someone in the cinema behind me scoffed: “What is this crap?” Though he didn’t know it, I felt a bond with this stranger and felt I would never see it unless forced. An hour into watching the actual movie I considered walking out. The plot was seemingly ridiculous, the script stiff, characters annoyingly obvious and the humour… very American. Not even the audience ten years my junior was laughing. I was writing it off as a flop. But The Lego Movie, being the sophisticated creativity fuel that it is, proved itself incredibly desirable with a twist that was hard to resist. It builds itself into a witty and strangely poignant reflection on how we control the imaginative flow of not only ourselves but those around us. I have now been endowed with the confidence to graduate from Duplo and collect sophisticated boxes of Lego which I plan to fill the rooms of my future house with. Who wants to grow up? I’m not planning on it.

Five fun facts about The Lego Movie:
1.     It is Morgan Freeman’s debut in an animated film.
2.     The word ‘Lego’ is never used in the movie itself.
3.     One of the Legolands in the movie is called “Middle Zealand”, a “wondrous land full of knights, castles, mutton, torture weapons, poverty, leeches, illiteracy, and, um… dragons.” The hilarity of the joke, considering most Americans think our beloved land is actually Middle Earth, has been lost on some New Zealanders who have taken it upon themselves to be offended, even calling on the PM to demand an apology. He told them to harden up and see it “for what it is – a light-hearted line in a children’s fantasy film”.
4.     There will be a sequel with ‘strong females’ apparently. Because the world needs them.
5.     Tegan and Sara ft. the Lonely Island are to thank for the tune ‘Everything is Awesome’.


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