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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Friday, August 22, 2014

The LEGO Movie Review

LEGO is unarguably one of the most popular toys on the market. In recent years it has expanded itself to video games, TV, and more! Interestingly, there has been very little films. The most popular example is the Bionicle franchise. At its height it was the most popular Lego-related thing. (It's thanks to that series I started playing with Legos.) But those films were straight-to-DVD. The LEGO Movie is the first theatrical film to entirely star...Legos! Not many thought it would end up being in the top 10 movies of 2014. With guest stars, great characters, cool music and an excellent message, it's hard not to appreciate it.

The story follows Emmet, a seemingly nobody who's thrust into an adventure to save the universe from Lord Business. As shocking as it may be for him, he's the chosen one according to a prophecy. He might not think he's special, but he'll have to accept it because the fate of the world depends on him!

The overall message is evident from the start, but it doesn't take away from the powerful speech spoken by Emmet in the climax. It's easy to sometimes think you're not anyone special, but it's important to remember that you are and everyone is. It's quite a lovely moral that the film perfectly portrays. Emmet is a likable character throughout who gets fantastic development within the hour and forty minutes. The first major character he meets is Wyldstyle who is seemingly the complete opposite. The two grow on bond that nicely develops throughout the film. Of course, one of the most hyped things was the inclusion of a lot of guest stars...

How amazing is it to have a movie where Superman, a Ninja Turtle, and Gandalf are all in the same room? It's a true spectacle, though sadly of course some will get the shaft. While these are all parodies of characters, one has to wonder the reasoning for having Superman lose and get thrown in jail, that was disappointing. Still, one cannot deny how amazing and humorous it is to have all of them together. Once Emmet arrives in Cloud Cuckoo Land (try saying that with a straight face) is when the cast is established. We have him, Wyldstyle, Vitruvius, Batman, Benny, Metal Beard, and Unikitty. Batman was of course featured in a lot of the marketing. Will Arnett does an excellent job voicing him. And he was a lot of fun to have around, (surprisingly he didn't steal the spotlight from Emmet) but some of his portrayal was questionable. "Every man for himself" is one thing, but only saving Emmet because Wyldstyle convinced him to? I understand that he was a parody, but still in some aspects it went just a bit far. Still one cannot deny how great it was to have The Dark Knight feature in a film and be funny. (His last film appearance until 2016!)

Benny was a pretty humorous guy you have around. Metal Beard was solid too, contributing some great backstory in the middle of the movie. Unikitty however proved to be the most entertaining, and adorable. The scene where she tried to remain cheerful despite her world crumbling around her was both humorous and emotional. She was basically a Lego version of Pinkie Pie, (the most cheerful character of all time) which is always a great personality to have. Surprisingly, one of the best characters ended up being Bad Cop/Good Cop. Liam Neeson delivers an Oscar-worthy voice portrayal. It's a shame the villain only had a run-in with Batman once cause it was one of the most entertaining scenes of the film. Lord Business was a pretty solid villain. On the onset he didn't seem like much other than being a generic comic relief bad guy, but the scene where he threatened to throw Bad Cop into the oblivion put that fear to rest.

The LEGO Movie definitely had a strong cast! Ultimately though, while it's great to have all these diverse characters and guest starts, it's about Emmet's journey to realizing he actually is special. The climax does a bit of a 180, introducing a new factor. The inclusion of live individuals to contrast what's happening in the Lego world was an interesting move. It was touching to see as it went on, and I can't help but wonder if the story would have been better if the humans were established early on with some cutaways here and there. It's an interesting thought to ponder, but it ultimately doesn't matter. What we got is solid enough.

Like Wreck-It Ralph, the film boasts some unique animation. Since the world and characters are made of Legos, it makes for some interesting sequences. The action is stellar; it actually boasts some of the most impressive fight and chase scenes of 2014. The soundtrack is one of the many highlights of the film. It boasts some impressive disco-video-game-like themes throughout the film. And of course "Everything is awesome" is quite an awesome song. Last year was dominated by "Let it Go," this year it's "Everything is Awesome."

Overall, The LEGO Movie delivers plenty of fun and action. It's a unique film with a compelling protagonist as he learns a valuable life lesson: that everyone is special. The cast is diverse and engaging, with of course Batman being a highlight. It does feature some humor that is solely aimed at an extreme young audience, but nothing too bad. "Everything is Awesome" perfectly describes The LEGO Movie in three words.


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