Works of Wonder: The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie

Did you spend a lot of time building Lego masterpieces when you were younger? I’m going to be honest: I know I did some, but I don’t think I did anywhere near enough to explain why I love “The Lego Movie” as much as I do.

I blame my deep affection for this movie, instead, on my bottomless love for all things weird, wacky, and wonderful. To borrow from the movie, everything about it is awesome. From its zany humor to its insanely clean morals to its message and philosophy (yes, there is, remarkably, quite a bit of philosophizing in this movie), there is very little I don’t like about this film.

“The Lego Movie” revolves around Emmett, a construction worker so normal that no one knows he exists. One day Emmett finds a strange piece (nearly everything in this world is built from Lego blocks — literally. They created a graphics engine for the movie that generated everything from computerized Lego bricks) that fuses permanently to his back, and it is revealed that he has just unwittingly fulfilled a prophecy that will make him the most interesting person in the world as well as the only one who can save it from Taco Tuesday. He teams up with a blind wizard named Vitruvius, a girl named Wild Style, Batman, Princess Unikitty (a unicorn cat, as the name suggests), a cyborg pirate named Metal Beard and 80’s Space Guy (also called Benny) against the likes of Bad Cop/Good Cop (same person, different faces, both played masterfully by Liam Neeson) and the “diabolical” Lord Business. And then things get weird.

The sheer level of imagination on display in “The Lego Movie” is staggering. The brilliance extends to every area of the movie, from its settings to its humor to its ideas to its message. For a movie this funny it has way more heart than it has any right to have. For a movie about such deep topics it has no business being this zanily creative. And, yet, it is all these things and more.

For the reasons I’ve listed and many others besides, “The Lego Movie” is one of my favorite movies of the year. In fact, it is one of my favorite cartoons of all time.

Why It’s Wonky

The movie has some incredibly interesting ideas about free will, predestination and God’s action in the world (or, in this case, the actions of “the Man Upstairs.”) However, some of these ideas are muddied at the end of the movie to make way for the more applicable moral message.

Why It’s Wonderful

Still, when was the last time you got any ideas about free will, predestination and God’s action in a cartoon? Or really most any mainstream movie, for that matter? Couple this with some great “cussing” (“Oh my G-O-S-H!” “Darn! Darn, darn, darney darn darn darn!”), more hilarious moments than I care to count, a unicorn on fire, clouds exploding into flames, a truly great Star Wars reference, an egotistical, preening Batman, and above all else a deeply felt, completely genuine sense of innocence, awe and wonder, and you have a movie that’s more than a winner: It’s nigh a masterpiece.

 

Verdict: 9.5/10

You can buy “The Lego Movie” at Amazon.com.

 

Film Image (c) Can Stock Photo

All images relating to “The Lego Movie” (c) 2014 Warner Bros. Animation