Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
appreciating and celebrating what is special about oneself
being a conformist versus an individualist
|Featuring:||Jonah Hill … Green Lantern (voice)
Channing Tatum … Superman (voice)
Alison Brie … Uni-Kitty (voice)
Cobie Smulders … Wonder Woman (voice)
Elizabeth Banks … Wyldstyle (voice)
Chris Pratt … Emmet (voice)
Morgan Freeman … Vitruvius (voice)
Will Ferrell … President Business (voice)
Liam Neeson … Bad Cop/Good Cop (voice)
Nick Offerman … Craggy (voice)
Will Arnett … Batman (voice)
Will Forte … Abraham Lincoln (voice)
Charlie Day … Spaceman Benny (voice)
Jadon Sand … Finn (voice)
Village Roadshow Pictures
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Meet Emmett. Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt), in the world of LEGOs, is nothing special. He, along with his “friends,” work in a construction yard, with everyone getting along and everything going exactly as planned. Emmett has the perfect life.
One day, while he is out working in the yard, he notices some suspicious activity from a female LEGO. Emmett warns her she is trespassing on construction property and needs to leave. When she refuses to listen, he follows her and accidentally falls down a giant hole.
Inside the hole, he discovers a powerful gem buried in the ground. After carelessly touching the gem, he blacks out, only to find himself in a police station, being questioned by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) about why he was down there and what he knows about the gem. Just then, the mysterious girl we met earlier, whose name we learn is Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), rescues him and helps him escape from police custody. She explains that he is the “Special,” the one person who is prophesied to, with the help of the other Master Builders, free the LEGOs from the tyranny of President Business (Will Ferrell), whose goal is to achieve world domination through force of will.
Follow Emmett, Wyldstyle, Vitruvius, and Batman, as they set out to stop the evil, soon to be, LORD Business from taking over all the LEGO worlds, in a journey about discovering who you are and that being special is something that’s already inside you.
I’m sure many of us remember the world of LEGOs growing up. We all remember the excitement we would get when we opened that box, take the pieces out and let our imaginations run wild. In the world of LEGOs, nothing ever needed to make sense. You could create adventures beyond your wildest dreams. Become a pirate, an astronaut, whatever you wanted! This was the source of entertainment, before the era of advanced cell phones, video games, and tablets, that broadened the creativity spectrum, and still does for children around the world even today. Its nostalgic qualities live on.
I’ll be completely honest. I have been excited, like many, for “The LEGO Movie” for quite some time now. Action, adventure, and comedy… this film had promise. Add an all start cast of talented actors (Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, and even Will Ferrell) and you have one well developed, brilliantly animated, heartfelt movie that touches every age, from childhood to adulthood. There iss not a single moment in this film where I questioned the filmmaker’s choices. Not one.
The elements surrounding this film are perfect in every category. The animation, intentionally choppy but brilliantly done, give the feeling that I am playing with LEGOs. The story, while heavy with action sequences (none that were overkill or to be taken with caution), is heartfelt, funny, and sentimental to a point (no spoilers, I promise). While the lesson from the film is one to expect from a children’s movie (which, trust, me this movie goes for everyone, not just children), also delivers said message in an appropriate, easy to understand, heartfelt manner. Lastly, but certainly not the least, are the performances. I was expecting a good performance, but not THIS good. Not a single voice is out of place. The humor from all the actors is just right, although there are jokes that are going to go over most children’s heads.
I could easily write a lengthy review of everything that was right in this film, but it would take forever to finish. Directors Lord and Miller are hitting audiences with all the right elements, and their impressive work in this film is nothing short of commendable and appreciative.
Minor Objectionable Content
Violence: Moderate. Most of the violence in the LEGO movie is humorous and comes in the form of LEGO explosions, gunfire and fight sequences, some chase scenes and the death of one character. But, what I really need to stress here is that this violence, while it is present, is not to be taken seriously. Think of a giant game of “pretend.”
Profanity: Mild. I didn’t hear too much that caught me off guard. Language is limited to “butt,” “losers,” “darn” and “gosh.”
Sex/Nudity: Very mild. There are a couple scenes where a television show is promoted, called “Where’s my Pants?”, and we see a pants-less LEGO. Emmett also walks out onto his balcony naked in one scene. One scene is also shown where a LEGO cop photocopies his butt (traditional LEGO bricks).
Other: The Robot army of President Business’ is a little creepy, even for me.
Lesson to Take
The whole theme surrounding the LEGO movie is the idea of being special, and that becoming special means believing that you are special in the first place. Vitruvius speaks to Emmett about how his need to have instructions and to follow them are what make him unique but also give him the ability to blend in with the other LEGOs.
Our Lord God thinks of us in a similar way. Genesis 1:26 reads, “Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness.” Later in Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (ESV). God made us both in His image and each unique. That is something, as Christians, we can take pride in and let it drive us to do great things in God’s name.
“The LEGO Movie” brings a sense of nostalgia attached to it. When I walked into the theater this afternoon, the primary audience was children and their parents. During the film, I’m pretty sure that the kids weren’t the ONLY ones laughing and enjoying the movie (I know I was!). I STRONGLY recommend the LEGO film to everyone. I don’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed a children’s film this much (perhaps “Despicable Me”). I’m really hoping this is nominated for the Oscars® next year. There is some minor objectionable content to be aware of, but this should be of no great concern to most parents. Bring your children, drag the teenagers, and spend the ticket price on “The LEGO Movie.” It truly is something… SPECIAL.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.