The LEGO movie

I ended up seeing the Lego Movie. The trailers seemed incredibly dumb and I was sure I would be skipping this one, but it seemed to be getting a lot of good reviews, so I decided to watch it anyway. And that ended up being a pretty good decision.

Pics from Google. Review contains spoilers.

The story premise isn’t exactly the most original thing ever. Our hero is a particularly unremarkable and incredibly generic Lego guy Emmet who enjoys living his life following rules in a city ruled by an evil bad guy who has an evil master plan. Emmet ends up accidentally obtaining the crucial item for preventing the evil plan, and is thus expected to be the hero of a prophecy (“The Special”). Unfortunately for everyone, Emmet has no idea how to be a hero.

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There was too much action for my taste. Some of it was really cool, but especially in the beginning it was starting to get boring when the characters just kept running around and stuff was exploding, and NOT TIME TO EXPLAIN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW!!! There was very little time for the new developments to sink in with so much action everywhere.

Some of the cameo appearances felt only like pandering to the fandom and being there just for the sake of making the reference, but I have to admit the appearance of the Star Wars spaceship made me laugh (the entire theatre was roaring with laughter at that). And everything about Batman was great too.

What I really hated was how the female lead was treated. Why must it be absolutely necessary to pair her up with the male lead? He already had a good character arc, he didn’t need a woman for a prize on the top of that. Even worse, at the very beginning of the movie she bluntly informs Emmet that yes, she is already in a relationship. Whoa, that’s new! With Batman of all people! When’s the last time you’ve seen a movie where the (single) male lead meets the female lead, who turns out NOT to be single? But nooope, her and Batman’s relationship doesn’t work and she ends up dumping him for Emmet, because she’s the female lead and the purpose of a female lead’s existence must be that she must be paired with the male lead because he needs a prize for his troubles. Or something like that.

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A major reason I didn’t want to see this film (other than it looking simply stupid) was the way the trailer mocked following rules. I’ve seen way too many times how the progressive main character just doesn’t fit in and how everyone tells them to be something, but they want to follow their own dreams yadda yadda yadda, and this one seemed to be particularly obnoxious about it by making Emmet who follows all the especially stupid rules look like a complete idiot. However, I was pleasantly surprised, because while unsurprisingly following your own path was a major theme, doing stuff according to the instructions had its place as well. The good guy resistance against the villain is skilled and capable of building very imaginative stuff with legos, but in the end Emmet manages to make himself useful by building a vehicle according to the instructions and fooling bad guys by singing the lame theme song everyone likes. In the end there was a nice balance in following a plan and doing your own thing.

Lastly, can’t write a spoiler-full review without mentioning the Reveal. People who are smarter than me say they knew it was a kid playing with the legos, but I didn’t except everything suddenly turn into a live action film of a boy playing in his father’s lego collection basement. That took the story to a whole new level and made it so much more than just a noisy and colourful adventure about learning how you’re special or something. And all the dumb and crazy plot twists suddenly made a lot of sense if you think it was a kid making up the story. What was a bit annoying to me was how the father was so demonised for having a hobby and not being thrilled about kids messing up his collection. Okay, he took it too far, but the way the movie pushed “well he should let his kid build whatever he wants” as the only solution was a bit jarring. Or maybe it didn’t, it’s already been almost two months since I saw the movie, but that’s the feeling I can remember.

When leaving the theathre my main thoughts were “that was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, in a good way”. Many of the jokes simply worked, and the movie was so much smarter than I expected. Even thinking “The Lego Movie was actually smart” feels stupid, but here we are. I may even buy the DVD! Good Tier.

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The song “Everything is Awesome” will be in my head for a while, that’s for sure.

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