Everything Still Awesome for ‘LEGO Movie’
Is it cynical to call The LEGO Movie a glorified 100-minute toy commercial? Perhaps. But when the screen is littered with brand new Lego sets, it can’t be helped. Fortunately, the execution weaves a path beyond its flashy advertising.
From the get-go, The LEGO Movie makes it clear what it’s out to be. With phrases like prophecies and chosen ones running amok, The LEGO Movie falls in line as the next hero adventure. Enter Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary construction worker, who lives every day by instructions. The Lego instruction manual to be exact. Blindly following instructions, his typical day constitutes buying expensive coffee and singing pop songs on a loop.
One night he’s bonded with the legendary Piece of Resistance by accident. The end result is becoming the chosen one known simply as ‘The Special.” His quiet conformist life goes up in smoke as soon as he’s picked up by a rebel mini-fig (Elizabeth Banks).
Emmet’s a lovable simpleton with no signs of creativity or thought for that matter. Pratt nails that side of Emmet down, plus allowing him time to evolve with the film. Even when he’s trying his hardest to stir a few creative brain cells, it’s an adorable riot.
Like Emmet, we as audiences get a first-hand glimpse of far the imagination stretches. The variety of worlds in the Lego-verse is a vibrant array of creativity. From the Old West to Cloud Cuckoo Land, the originality during playtime hits home hard. The cast of characters are equally diverse. Where else would you find Batman, Shaq, Abraham Lincoln, Shakespeare and Gandalf all in the same movie? This has hodgepodge written all over it. That’s fine. The LEGO Movie wears hodgepodge with pride.
Directing pair Phil Lord and Chris Miller live up to their reputation of witty comedy. Coming off of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, the duo extend their endless laughs here. Besides Pratt, Will Farrell is given his fair share of humor to play with as the nefarious Lord Business. Will Arnett steals many laughs as Batman as does Charlie Day’s Benny screaming “spaceship” at the most opportune moments.
Beneath the glitz, The LEGO Movie spells out social commentary on the negatives of absolute conformity and order. That will certainly fly over the heads of younger audiences. For adults, it’s that extra layer of storytelling to enrich the plot.
The only controversy in The LEGO Movie is its unexpected final act. A vast departure from the first hour, the chain of events near the climax may trigger mixed feelings. Having seen the film a few times now, there’s more power and purpose to these moments.
In the scheme of things, The LEGO Movie serves many purposes. It extends an age-old brand that’s been beloved for over 50 years. At the same time, we have a film that does for Lego what Toy Story did for toys and Wreck-It Ralph for video games.
Warner Home Entertainment went all out on this transfer for The LEGO Movie. The level of detail from the big screen is captured throughout as the film progresses from world to world. The mini-figs themselves are heavily rewarded. Paint marks, chips and other wear are clearly visible in character close-ups. The worlds are vibrant and diverse thanks to its 1080p AVC transfer.
Warner’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5. 1 surround track is a workout for any audio system. Rich in dialogue and audio effects, all aspects of The LEGO Movie can be heard with ease. Granted with a 7.1 track, there would be bang for your buck. There’s still plenty here to enjoy. And if that’s not enough, Mark Mothersbaugh’s score and the “Everything is Awesome” anthem are in full swing.
The “Everything is Awesome” edition is meant for die-hard fans of The LEGO Movie. Warner carries over the supplements from the combo pack. So unless there’s a need to have a giant Emmet head, a Vitruvius mini-fig and 3D copy in your collection, the standard combo is fine.
The set is packaged with roughly an hour of bonus features. While that may seem on the low side, there’s plenty to choose from. Dream Job: Meet the LEGO Builders and Bring LEGO to Life are the longest, clocking in at 12 minutes a piece. Besides the audio commentary, both these features provides the best insight on the film. The “Everything is Awesome” Sing-Along will be a sure-fire hit for younger audiences who can’t get enough of the song. Deleted scenes, outtakes and promos round out the features.
The LEGO Movie is one of those films that will be watched over and over. The “Everything is Awesome” song is not going away anytime soon, because The LEGO Movie is just that.
- Movie: A- (9/10)
- Video: A (10/10)
- Audio: A- (9/10)
- Special Features: B (8/10)