BY ADRIANA FLORIDIA
A film based off of the popular toy brand Lego sounded silly to most when they first heard about it. I, myself, did not have much interest in the film until I heard it was being directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, a partnership that have given us such surprising successes as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street. As a huge fan of both of the mentioned films, I had faith that The Lego Movie would be just as funny and original. The film has been receiving universal praise that is rarely ever seen, which also heightened my anticipation for this animated adventure. I am very disappointed now to say that I am not nearly as excited about this film, as everyone else seems to be.
The Lego Movie follows Emmet, a perfectly normal Lego figure who becomes mistaken as “the special one” when he accidentally stumbles upon “the piece of resistance”. Whoever finds this piece is destined to be the hero to save the Lego world from Lord Business, an evil Lego who plans to glue the world together.
The movie moves at a rapid pace that makes it hard to keep up. There is no breathing room; it feels like it is trying to cram in every possible joke and reference to Lego that it can. The jokes are not very funny for the most part; they mostly poke fun at the Lego for being Lego.
The film alludes to some grand concepts, such as the fact that Lord Business is taking over the world, a metaphor for the way that capitalism rules our society. It’s very ironic that this is the message being promoted in film about a brand that very likely follows the same corporate capitalist structure that it makes fun of, but the message is admirable.
This is a film that promotes creativity and imagination, which is an honorable thing to teach young children. The main problem I found with it is the blatant way it goes about it. There is nothing subtle about this film, it hammers its agenda into you. For a child this is effective, but for an adult it can be a bit irritating and obvious.
The voice talent is all-around great, with Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Elizabeth Banks leading the cast that is filled with many actors familiar to the directors work. The characters they play, however, do not feel as iconic or memorable as other recent animated figures. The film in all feels a little forgettable by the end. The idea behind this film was done better when it was Woody and Buzz Lightyear in the leading roles, and though they are strikingly alike, The Lego Movie does not hold a candle to Toy Story.
The ending of the film introduces a whole new layer of metaphysical substance that gives the film the oomph it needed. I can’t decide if it was a good idea to leave this element to the very end as a sort of twist, if it should have been implemented earlier, or if to most viewers it was implicit all along. This aspect of the film caught me off guard, and the larger metaphors it made gave the movie the heart it was lacking. Prior to this, it was more just a large jumble of characters and action sequences with sub-par humour. The best joke involved a bunk-bed couch, and that isn’t saying much.
All in all, after some thought, I can see why audiences are loving this movie, but for me, the humour was mediocre and the idea felt a bit washed-up. With characters that are hard to get behind and who lack anything special, other than the talented voice cast that give them any sort of personality, this film which pushes creativity is not so creative itself.
Adriana Floridia is a girl who has been passionate about film her whole life. Get to know her on Twitter @adrifloridia.