I walked into The Lego Movie expecting to sit through a 100 minute long Legos commercial, and I was a bit right in that regard. However, I would have never expected such an enjoyable tribute to the childhood toy that many of us hold dear.
Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Lego Movie is a children’s movie that celebrates the joy and simple pleasure of being able to create worlds from the imagination by using small, colorful plastic blocks. Even though the movie is obviously targeted toward children, I found myself surrounded by many more adults than kids in the movie theater.
Whenever any humorous scenes played, I noticed that the adults laughed louder and more often than any of the children did, perhaps because the adults were the ones who grew up and actually played with Legos in their childhood. With the younger generation being exposed more and more to new technologies and less to traditional toys like Legos, it would be expected that younger kids may not enjoy the movie as much.
The movie started off very slowly at first, jumping into a conflict between President Business, voiced by Will Ferrell, and Vetruvius, voiced by Morgan Freeman, who are fighting for the “Kragle”, a supremely powerful weapon that has the potential of ruining the world as the Lego people know it. Vetruvius fails in protecting the Kragle from President Business’ grasp, and speaks of a prophecy to come. A person called the “Special” would find the Piece of Resistance and stop the harmful effects of the Kragle.
Enter Emmet, an ordinary and very obedient construction worker who is a stickler with following the instructions. One day, after being shunned by his coworkers who find him uninteresting, Emmet comes across a woman named Wyldstyle, who is rummaging through the construction site as if in search for something. Emmet stumbles after her but accidently falls through a hole and discovers the Piece of Resistance.
Compelled to touch it, Emmet falls into a series of visions and passes out, only to awake as President Business’ lieutenant, Bad Cop, attempts to interrogate him for information about the Piece of Resistance that is now stuck to Emmet’s back.
Together with Wyldstyle, Batman, Vitruvius, and Uni-kitty, Emmet goes through a series of adventures that ultimately end in the closing of the Kragle and happiness everywhere. Even though I expected the happy ending at the end, I was pretty impressed by how many of the characters went through dynamic changes.
Emmet, who had always been quite ordinary and submissive, changed into an imaginative leader who learns his true potential and uses it to save his world. Wyldstyle, whose original name is revealed to be Lisa, learns that it is perfectly fine to be your true self, rather than adopting unique names or appearances. Uni-kitty, who is always seen as a happy creature who maintains that one should always be happy and positive, learns that it is no good to keep one’s emotions in check all the time, as it could result in outbursts.
I enjoyed the movie, as I myself grew up building imaginary worlds with Legos. I believe the movie did a good job in celebrating the imagination and creativity behind all Lego works, and how Legos can universally appeal to both the older and younger generations of today. The only part that made me a bit iffy about this movie pertained to the scene where Emmet went through a series of epileptic visions. The visual effects, colors, and lights were a bit dizzying, and it could become a big concern to those who have experienced epilepsy before. Other than that, the movie was quite enjoyable and did a wonderful job in showcasing the Lego legacy.