The Lego Movie

by Erin Thursby
Kid’s movies have come a long way, even if they are still about entertaining kids. The Lego Movie is proof of that. Adults will have plenty of jokes to laugh at, even if they will have the theme song (Everything is Awesome!) stuck in their heads at the movie’s end.
There are pop culture references to The Terminator and at least some hat-tipping to the Matrix. Everybody’s searching for Neo, I mean, the special one, who will end the tyranny of Lord Business, who plans to make everything perfect and frozen with a super weapon. It’s a standard plot, a familiar plot, but everything is in the execution. Once the movie gets going, the action comes so fast and thick that you don’t have time to think: you can only be entertained. The exposition is mercifully short. The only sticky bit comes with the introduction of Emmet, the main character. Don’t worry, it will get more interesting. Some of the wonder is going to come from Lego pieces in motion, from Lego explosions, fully rendered with Lego-built fire. Of course, while I did long for stop-motion rather than computer generated Lego towers, it is as grandiose as it can be, because its computer generated.
Lego takes full advantage of the big names they have in their toy box. Superman, Batman, Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon all make an appearance. Batman in particular, has some of the best lines in the movie, my favorite of which is: “I’ll text you.” It will be funny.
Like The Matrix, this is a meta-world, but unlike The Matrix, the audience knows that from the beginning. It’s the characters who inhabit the world who don’t know it, at least most of them don’t.
It gets epic. Lego the Movie pretty much has all of the things you would expect from a big action blockbuster, except that it’s just slightly odd, like a double-decker couch. That bit of quirk and the way it winks knowingly at the audience is what will make it a watchable movie for adults. The voice acting of Morgan Freeman (as the blind prophet Vitruvius) and Liam Neeson (as Bad Cop and Good Cop) Will Arnet (Batman) and a cameo of Billy Dee Williams as Lando.
The ending isn’t what you expect from an action movie, but it is a great ending, although, as with most action blockbusters, they leave the door open for a sequel.