Why The LEGO Movie is Awesome

"They built a great movie here”

I think it’s a given that most people love LEGO. The little building blocks powered solely by your imagination are a worldwide phenomenon and just keep getting bigger, judging from the licenses that have cropped up in the past few years (Marvel AND DC LEGO sets!? LEGO is the only place you’ll see both comic powerhouses sharing nowadays). This film is actually mainly based on the original LEGO sets created by the company, and doesn’t use the licenses outside of cameos and nods - apart from Batman, that is, who is a major player in the film. So, how well does a film dedicated to little plastic bricks fare? Pretty fantastically as it turns out.

The story is relatively simple: a prophecy foretold of a ‘special’: someone that would find the piece of resistance and defeat the evil Lord Business. Emmet is said ‘special’. The only problem is that Emmet is not what is referred to as a Master Builder. Master Builders are able to look at the LEGO world (literally everything is made of LEGO – it’s amazing to behold) and build whatever their imagination allows them to; Emmet, however, is the very definition of ordinary, and is a construction worker that no-one even notices is there, despite having conversations with him. And so Emmet, with WyldStyle for company, head off on an adventure to defeat Lord Business and… In fact, any more would ruin significant parts of the story and I’d hate to do that. It’s truly a film that keeps the surprises and jokes coming, thick and fast.

It’s so well animated you’ll scarcely believe it wasn’t completely stop-motion

Which brings me to another big plus for The LEGO Movie: it’s genuinely funny. I found myself laughing at the jokes a lot during the film, which I haven’t done with a comedy in quite a while. A lot of the humour comes from Emmet’s non-existent imagination, with several jokes coming from the idea of a double-decker couch. Despite this one object being the focus of three separate sets of jokes in the film, each joke finds its mark and is funny, mostly because of the subtle changes in the wording and delivery of the jokes. This is the perfect example of what makes The LEGO Movie so good: it stays fresh and funny by changing things up repeatedly throughout the film to keep you engaged.

The characters are all likeable and perfectly voiced by the likes of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson and Alison Brie. Each voice seems perfectly suited to the character and believable so that those characters would sound as they do in the film (well, as believable as a film and LEGO can be). The comic timing and tone is also fantastic and it really is testament to the actors that they pull off the jokes so well, especially since they’re not on screen. My hat off to the animators though, as there are so many visual gags, both from the characters and in the world around them that I’m sure I missed plenty in my watching. This joins me nicely into something I really should mention: cameos. There are so very many cameos going on that you have to be paying attention at all times to see them all. From the aforementioned Batman to the characters seen in the trailers, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Michelangelo (from TMNT), and many from specific LEGO sets which may well go over the head of many people, but will be appreciated by others that remember LEGO from growing up. There are plenty more cameos in the film but I don’t want to spoil any more of them as I was hugely impressed and surprised with some of the ones I noticed.

A lot of the cameos happen in this scene – how many can you spot?

As an honourable mention, I feel I should also talk about the music. The main song from the film, “Everything is Awesome!!!”, played in the trailers as well as the main film, is just as bouncy and happy as you’d expect. The rest of the music works very well in the film, but none sticks out like that song does. I instantly found myself bopping to the tune of it and it stayed in my head for hours afterwards. It’s a great song and is so catchy you can’t help but love it.

Despite all the great aspects of The LEGO Movie, there is unfortunately one major, glaring hole in it: the third act. This is where the story comes to a crescendo and packs the emotional punch. Unfortunately, I feel it just doesn’t sit as well in the film as it could. It kind of comes out of nowhere, despite being very predictable (I had suspected the ending after the trailers and was proved correct), and doesn’t give you a big payoff with the characters you would usually expect from this kind of film. Admittedly, it gives a different kind of payoff and gives the story a deeper, more emotional meaning, but I just wasn’t a fan of the way they chose to go with the story, despite it making sense in the grand scheme of things (I’m aware that this may not make too much sense, and I apologise for that, but I’m trying to avoid major spoilers while still giving an opinion). It isn’t enough to ruin the film - far from it - but let’s just say it isn’t the way I would’ve gone with it.

However, I can still say that the film is absolutely fantastic and if you’ve ever played with LEGO, or perhaps you just love bright colours with a story of good vs evil and plenty of imagination thrown in, I cannot recommend The LEGO Movie any higher.

Final Score: 8/10

‘Til next time, this has been Jubby writing for The Awesome Update.

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