Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Lego Movie

Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) is just an ordinary construction worker who does everything according to the rules. His mundane life takes an exciting turn when he has a chance encounter with Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), a Master Builder who is in search of the missing Piece of Resistance. Unbeknownst to Emmet, a prophecy from long time ago foresaw the coming of the Special, who will be the key to finding the said piece, which in turn would trigger the downfall of evil Lord Business, who has taken possession of a super weapon called the Kragle, which he intends to use to terrorize everyone. With the help of the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and a zany bunch of other Master Builders, Emmet goes on an epic adventure to prove to everyone, including himself, that even an average Joe with a generic yellow face could have what it takes to save the day.

Any kid who has touched a Lego brick once in his life will enjoy this movie. Come on, it is your childhood right there! What would get you really awestruck, though, would be the worlds they have made for the movie and how these worlds have remained loyal to what you usually create getting those bricks out of those boxes. The animation is reminiscent of the one too many Lego stop motion shorts that you might have already seen on YouTube, and even the movement of the characters are intentionally made to look snappy just to recreate that feel. Just to reiterate, the entire cities and worlds they have created for the movie would make your jaw drop, wishing that you could get to build something of the same caliber in this lifetime, and knowing Lego, you probably could. They would eventually release new models patterned after the movie for sure. Time to withdraw some cash!

What makes everything enjoyable and amusing, though, is the story itself along with the plot development. Many times while watching this film, the thought that you are getting Punk’d by everyone responsible in the production of this movie would really cross your mind. Then again, you realize that hey, you were also the producer, director, and screenwriter of every Lego storyline you have created playing with those bricks when you were younger. You also have to admit that there was really no consistency back then for you either, and that is what makes everything great. You could have written this movie, and that is the point exactly! It is YOUR movie. In fact, it is everyone’s movie, and by everyone we mean all of us who have invested countless days of our childhood imagining our very own Lego film while moving those bricks around using our imagination in lieu of special effects.

This film succeeds in more ways than one. By incorporating the real world in the storyline, the movie has actually allowed two separate universes to run their course simultaneously, highlighting the parallelisms between the two and allowing for space to insert some unintentional philosophical themes along the way. And wow, are they not many! Do not expect something as thought provoking as that involved in Inception, though. The themes prevalent here tend to deal more with toys and the roles that they play in the lives of both kids and kids masquerading as adults. Suffice it to say that it would really make you think.

The praise does not stop here, however, because this movie borrows a lot of techniques from successful animated features to date. In case you are wondering, the humor here is a mix of juvenile and culture specific, in that the many references to pop culture guarantee not only enjoyment for kids, but also for the accompanying adults who paid for the admission ticket. Your little sister would probably find bi-polar Uni-Kitty cute, while it would be difficult for your dork of a brother to miss spotting Gandalf or Han Solo. Your father would probably be laughing his ass off thanks to Batman’s deadpan humor while your mom-- nah, forget mom-- she is not part of the target audience. This is, without a doubt, a family movie which everyone is bound to enjoy, everyone except your mom, perhaps.

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