Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Lego Movie REVIEW

I'm catching this one quite late, but for those who haven't been keeping up, my curiosity was peaked when this film was getting unexpectedly great reviews across the board. What might've seemed like just a full length advertisement does actually have a lot of heart and soul and turns out to be one of the most uniquely animated films to come out of the studio system in a long time!

In the world of Lego, there exists your basic construction guy piece named Emmert Brickowski, who is the sort of guy always looking to fit in and conform, but then ends up being just a generic un-special guy. This changes when he finds himself stuck to a mysterious object that according to a prophecy regards him as the special master-builder who will save the Lego world from the machinations of an evil corporation.

The film is filled from start to finish with humour that manages to be appealing to both adults and children with some very clever things spread out throughout the film's messages that also turns the whole 'chosen one' trope on its head.All of which is ultimately elevated to an allegory of the connection between a father and son. Anyone who's grown up with Lego will certainly chuckle at how the film-makers actually exploit our own memories and interactions with the product and incorporate all that we associate with the brand into the film's world and plot. Certainly it's undeniably a giant commercial for Lego, but by the end you'll be wishing all commercials were this good and this heartfelt! Look closer and you'll see many clever parodies from the Matrix, Terminator, Metal Gear and even clever subtle satire of real life concerns about manufactured pop-culture, conformity, corporatism, politics, propaganda and more!

The animation is also excellent here and a  great break from the norm! A completely CG film that attempts to recreate the stop-motion feel of Lego sets and pieces rendered to be photo-real. And even smarter is that the riggers stuck to keeping the movements of the Lego characters just as articulate as they are in the actual product, which forces the animators to find new ways of expression within those limits and this gives the film's animation the bulk of its charm; something that works far better than the other Lego CG renditions in games and other direct-to-home video results that chose to make the characters more flexible than they really are.

There's a lot to love here, and the film has been doing big box office for good reasons! So take your families to check it out if you haven't already! I didn't watch it in 3-D, so I don't know how that is... But I know that I left there feeling like breaking out my old Lego sets in a bag in a box somewhere and going to town with them! The film is really just like how I actually used to play with my own Lego, spaceships and all! Also get ready to experience the best Batman and the best Batman theme song you'll ever hear!