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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Lego Movie Review

The Lego Movie, a movie where "Everything is Awesome!" The Lego Movie follows Emmet Brickowski, an unremarkable guy that finds a legendary thing called "The Special," which is the only thing that can save the Lego realms from the plans of the evil Lord Business. 
If I had to choose one toy as my favorite, Legos would win by a long shot. When I was a kid, I had a ton of Legos, and I even made Stop Motion Lego movies for several years, which you can see by clicking here. So, if you played with Legos as a kid (or still do now, or have kids), you are almost guaranteed to enjoy this movie.


Directed by: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, 
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Running Time: 100 minutes
MMPA rating: PG

The Good: 100% entertaining throughout, Clever jokes, Batman is hilarious, Thematically strong, Fun action sequences, All-star voice cast, Unexpected references, Amazing animation, Likable characters, Extreme attention to detail, Shocking plot twist, Unbelievably smart elements, Great soundtrack, Often hysterical, "Everything is Awesome" is awesome, Memorable quotes,

The Bad:

Plot: 9.5/10- The Lego Movie's plot somewhat satires typical movie clichés, while also throwing in some very unique elements. It actually reminds me a lot of The Matrix, in the best ways possible, but it ultimately subverts some of the clichés. Also, The Lego Movie is the first family film to ever truly surprise me. Seriously, there are a few parts of the movie that had me completely floored.
Themes in family movies are about as simple as they come, and even the critically lauded ones like Toy Story never resonate with me. However, The Lego Movie actually hits the mark with surprisingly mature anti-Communism/Fascism themes with everyone being told and brainwashed to always "Follow the instructions," by watching the same TV show, do the same thing, and listen to the same song. Some might interpret it as anti-big-business, but I do not really see it in that way, since free market capitalism and creativity is what the movie is about. However, there is one aspect towards the end of the film that I do disagree with thematically, but it is not enough to affect my enjoyment. Also, the movie does lean towards being a tad sappy for about two minutes, but quickly goes back to being fun.

Characterization: 9.1/10- Surprisingly, there is character development in The Lego Movie with its cast of fun and likable characters. Even the ones that are not given much screen time are fun and memorable. Emmet is the main protagonist, and in many ways he is a satire of the typical "Chosen One" archetype. Wyldstyle is a fun tsundere type character, who has her own character arc. Batman is, well, Batman! He is everything great about Batman, but with a lot of self parody humor, which is great!

Action: 8.7/10- Due to the Lego visual style, the directors could do a lot more with the action scenes compared to a typical PG animated film. There are several entertaining shootouts and chase scenes that utilize the unique quality of the Legos for maximum effect. In the movie, there is even a clever heist scene!

Acting: 9.4/10- Chris Pratt knocks it out of the ballpark as Emmet selling the humor flawlessly.  
Will Arnett is one of the many highlights of the film as Batman giving a positively hilarious performance! Liam Neeson as Bad Cop/Good Cop is very funny throughout. Will Ferrell as Lord Business kills it in his role, and Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius provides the epicness that one expects from Morgan Freeman. Interestingly, Marvel vet, Cobie Smulders, voices Wonder Woman along with Channing Tatum as Superman and Jonah Hill as Green Lantern, all of whom are hilarious in their bit parts. 

Art Style: 10/10- The Lego Movie's attention to detail in the animation is beyond absurd! Literally every tiny detail is animated using Lego bricks of some kind, even the explosions and fire. Imitating the stop motion style, opposed to the completely CGI look of the Lego video games, is brilliant! Everything looks and feels so perfect; I cannot believe the creators pulled it off. In terms of detail, you can see the small seams where the Legos are molded with the Lego hands, and virtually everything is accurate to how Legos are build. Also, the credits looked like actual stop motion, which is awesome!

Soundtrack: 8.7/10- The main score from Mark Mothersbaugh actually has a lot of range from the fun and happy tunes of certain parts of the film, to the more epic ones of the later action sequences; everything works. As for the song, "Everything is Awesome," it is catchy and absurd. After listening to it work and reading about it, the song is actually a parody on fascism and brainwashing, which is incredibly clever.

Humor: 9.6/10- The Lego Movie's humor is the smartest and most clever I have ever seen in a family film. As someone that finds most humor in family films, particularly Pixar, to just not be funny, Phil Lord and
Christopher Miller's humor is spot on. 
The humor is not always hilarious, but it hits more often than not and the jokes come hard and fast. The movie parodies movie clichés, Legos, and other franchises all for hilarious effect. In fact, I have no idea how much a kid would enjoy the movie since a lot of the humor will probably go over their heads. Also, there is one part of the movie that was so utterly unexpected and hilarious that I was in shock for a few moments afterwards!
Humor Percentage
Hilarious: 40%
Very funny: 52%
Mildly Funny: 5%
Not Funny: 3%

Entertainment Value: 10/10- My face was literally hurting after watching the movie because I was laughing/smiling throughout the entire film! The Lego Movie is 100 minutes of pure enjoyment. I could go rewatch the movie right now, no problems.

Overall: 9.6/10- The Lego Movie is fun, clever, smart, and absurdly entertaining. It is not only the best animated film in years; it is one of the best comedies and fun movies I have seen in quite some time, because "Everything is Awesome!"

Closing comments: If you love Legos, you will love The Lego Movie, no question about it. If, however, you never played with Legos as a kid, I have honestly no idea how much you would enjoy the film, so keep that in mind.

Recommended for: Everyone one, Lego fans, Animation fans, Comedy fans,


If you want to contact us or have any questions please send an e-mail to johnstarslayer@gmail.com.

15 comments:

  1. I've been putting this off for so long and I dont know why, anytime I read about it, its praised! I really need to see this. Plus I heard that Will Arnett does a great job as Batman (I'm a die hard Arrested Development fan so this is definitely a plus). It seems Pixar has some heavy competition.....

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    1. Matt you definitely need to see this one. You would love it and Arnett's Batman is essentially Gob as Batman.

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    2. Definitely give it a watch Matthew!

      -James

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  2. Cool review! :) I agree, the Lego movie was definitely a lot of fun, with some great humor! The parody of everything, from movie cliches to Batman, was hilarious! XD I also played with legos as a kid(and made films with them), so that was fun to watch as well; to be honest, I only had one complaint about the film(which I mentioned to you on facebook). That's interesting about the theme, I hadn't thought about that(though I can see the anti-big business angle too). And about the song as well...I can definitely see that! I was wondering why they were saying everything was awesome, since not everything is awesome.
    As for little kids liking it, my nine year old brother really liked it and seemed to enjoy most of the humor :).

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    1. Thanks! :) You made films with Legos too? Cool! Glad your little bro liked it too, I guess it is a movie for everyone!

      -James

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  3. Great review, James. Glad you loved the movie...it's definitely one of the best of the year and endlessly rewatchable.

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    1. Thanks Jordan! I really need to watch the movie again.

      -James

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  4. THIS MOVIE WAS SO AWESOME. EVERYTHING IS COOL WHEN YOU'RE PART OF A TEAM. EVERYTHING IS AWESOOOMEE WHEN WE'RE LIVIN' OUR DREAM... i got carried away but i couldn't help it because EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.

    I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY THERE WAS ALMOST NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE IT WAS SO FUNNY AND TOUCHING AND THE ANIMATION WAS AMAZING AND CHRIS PRATT IS PERFECTION AND LEGO BATMAN IS MY FAVORITE BATMAN OUT OF EVERY BATMAN EVER AND AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH IT WAS SO GOOD. :)

    ~Jamie

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    1. Could not have said it better myself. ;)

      -James

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  5. I remember watching this movie on Valentines. I wasn't expecting much because I thought it was just a cash cow and a huge Lego advertisement. Good thing I was wrong. It was surprisingly entertaining, and still able to add some drama in the mix. Everything is awesome indeed!

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  6. I love Legos, but for some reason I haven't been able to get myself to really want to see this movie enough to go rent it from Redbox. Hmm. If Redbox still has it, maybe I'll try to get it in a couple of weeks. I will say that in the trailers, Batman made me giggle a lot.

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    1. I am not entirely sure how you would enjoy the movie, but I'd say that it is definitely worth a watch at some point.

      -James

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  7. Great review James! I definitely want to see this again now, because since I saw this the first time I've become a much bigger fan of Chris Pratts, so I want to hear all the awesome jokes he makes so awesome over again. :D Okay, and the rest of the movie is totally worth seeing again too.

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    1. Thanks! Same here about Pratt! Seeing him in Guardians and Parks and Rec really made me a big fan of him, so the Lego Movie is even more Awesome in retrospect! :D

      -James

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