It’s fitting that “Everything is Awesome” is the name of the Tegan & Sara (feat. The Lonely Island) song that plays throughout this movie. Because “everything is awesome” is the exact phrase that I would use to describe The LEGO Movie. Let’s talk plot, shall we?
Lord Business (Will Ferrell) steals the Kragle, a weapon that can control the entire Lego world, but not before its protector, the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), warns him that a master builder called the “Special” will rise up against him using the Piece of Resistance. Flash forward eight-and-a-half years to Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), a construction worker in the city of Bricksburg who always follows the instructions for living a normal life. That is, until he meets WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks), a master builder with the resistance, who unintentionally leads him to the Piece of Resistance. While on the run from Lord Business and Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), Emmet starts to see that he might actually be more than just a regular guy. With the help of other master builders, like Unikitty (Alison Brie), Metal Beard (Nick Offermann), Batman (Will Arnett), and Benny the Astronaut (Charlie Day), Emmet leads the resistance to fight back against Lord Business and disarm the Kragle.
The LEGO Movie has it all—humor (both kid-friendly and adult-friendly), cameos, heart. Like Wreck-It Ralph, it worked because the writers weren’t above embracing Legos as a story source (Nostalgia helped, too). Not to mention, with a cast full of talented comedians, it’s hard not to make every line in this movie land with a laugh.
There are several running gags that are worth noting because they had me laughing throughout the entire movie. Like whenever Lord Business uses human items that have been left in the Lego worlds (like a Band-Aid) and over-pronounces the names as only Will Ferrell can (It’s exactly like Ferrell’s Megamind constantly mispronouncing Metro City). Or how there’s always a chair nearby for Good Cop/Bad Cop to kick when he loses the good guys. Or how Emmet’s idea about building a double-decker couch is pretty much the dumbest idea ever, until it ends up saving the good guys because it’s the dumbest idea ever. Or how poor Benny the Astronaut tries to build a spaceship whenever the resistance needs to escape, but they never end up using it (That is, until they do, and then Benny screams “Spaceship!” whenever he pilots the spaceship into the enemy forces).
And did I mention Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams voice their original Star Wars characters when the Star Wars Legos show up?
But it was the overall message of this movie that I really liked. Any movie that encourages kids (and adults, I guess) to be more creative is good in my book, and The LEGO Movie was all about that. We see this message really make its point when we’re pulled away from the animation toward the end of the movie in favor of a few minutes of live action between a young boy and his dad (played by Will Ferrell), where we actually get the movie’s most heartfelt moment.
You see, The LEGO Movie is a story within a story. Emmet is to the boy what Lord Business is to the dad. Emmet and the boy are trying to save the Lego worlds from becoming permanently fixed in place by the Kragle, and Lord Business and the dad want to keep everything exactly like the instructions said. The dad has spent tons of time building Lego worlds in his basement, and he’s particular about them not being touched because they’re perfect. In fact, they’re so perfect that he intends to use Krazy Glue (Ahem, “Kragle”) to keep them perfect. The boy, however, plays with the worlds, breaking things apart to create new things as he makes up Emmet’s heroic story.
After seeing the amazing things his son creates with the Legos, the dad finally realizes that gluing his Lego creations together only hinders his son’s creativity—and arguably that Legos aren’t for creating masterpieces that follow the instructions, but rather for learning and thinking outside of the box. It’s a touching revelation that, for adults, reminds us of the beauty of our childish minds. And it kind of makes you want to start playing with Legos again (Or maybe that’s just me).
By the way, the Piece of Resistance is the glue’s lid. Hilarious, right?
Overall, The LEGO Movie is a funny, well-written movie that’s enjoyable for kids and adults alike. If you’re looking for an animated film with tons of goofy jokes, great voice talent, and awesome graphics, The LEGO Movie has it. And, of course, the movie’s message is fantastic, too. Everything is about creativity and thinking outside the box—a message that kids should hear and adults should be reminded of.
Sidenote: I wonder if we’ll get a Lego video game for The LEGO Movie. Because that would just be super meta.