The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie

  • Fun and surprisingly clever, The Lego Movie is an entertaining thrill ride, one that will appeal to audiences of multiple age groups and demographics.
  • Here the visual spectacle is impressive. Lego characters’ movements and their facial designs are universally terrific, but they are outdone by the way Master Builders construct new machines, weapons or other items.
  • Crisp pacing keeps the story moving.
  • Writers/Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller add emotional gravitas, at various moments, to make us care about characters.
  • A talented voice cast helps the directors. All of the cast members are spectacular, but the standouts are Chris Pratt (Emmett), Elizabeth Banks (Wildstyle) and Liam Neeson (Bad Cop).
  • Both the actors and story structure ensure The Lego Movie is not hindered by thinly developed characters who are never more than archetypes.
  • Because the directors offer enough clues as to what is really going on that we understand why characters are not well developed.
  • And because The Lego Movie is laugh out loud funny; a scene involving Han Solo and the rest of his Millennium Falcon crew is guaranteed to generate laughter.
  • The Lego Movie’s flaws are minor. Uni-Kitty’s (Alison Brie) characterization might be a little sexist, and the story might be overly complex for the youngest audience members. They will still doubtlessly enjoy the picture, if only to see Lego figures jumping around and saving the world, but they might not understand it.
  • Will Ferrell’s character proves the biggest flaw, however, insofar as he changes too abruptly (so as not to spoil anything, I will not expound the point).
  • Despite these flaws, Lord and Miller’s animated feature is a rollicking good time with an exciting plot line, many funny sight gags, and just enough emotional weight. It might not be inspirational, but it is entertaining. I recommend it without reservation.
  • Final Grade: B+

34 thoughts on “The Lego Movie

    • I did, too. I was only half paying attention when it first started, and then it hooked me. And kept me.

      I’ve only seen three movies of 2014 so far, but this one could well be in the running for Best Surprise.

    • If I didn’t try to see as many new releases as I do, it wouldn’t have crossed my mind, either. I thought the trailer was awful. But this one hooked me early and kept me throughout. It’s surprisingly very good.

  1. Uni-Kitty is meant to be based on ‘Scene’ kids, who always come across as insanely happy and always insist that ‘everything is awesome’ (pardon the pun). Uni-Kitty is definitely exaggerated, but it is a fairly amusing play on the stereotype. (A stereotype mainly, but not exclusively, dominated by woman, so it’s not meant to come across as sexist).

    A great review and you are bang on with the Will Ferrell character. My mind is still trying to wrap itself around that ending. I am not entirely sure I like it.

    • I think I understood what was going on with Uni-Kitty, and I acknowledge she isn’t MEANT to be sexist. But she still comes close, I think. It isn’t a major flaw, but given that she’s one of two female characters in the movie, it would have been nice if the (male) filmmakers had given her an added layer or two.

      On balance, I like the ending. I think Miller and Lord build to throughout the film, in some very clever ways (the most obvious one being the ‘ghost’ scene). I just think they needed to spend more time showing Ferrell’s transition. As is, it is too sudden.

      Oh. And thanks for stopping by!

  2. Great review man, and great news too. I too thought the Lego Movie was headed for disaster. Although I spent hours upon hours playing with these things as a child, I figured they wouldn’t be able to really tell a story with such limited figures, but this doesn’t sound to be the case at all. I am honestly blown away by it’s high-90s% on RT and the like. Can’t wait to get to it!

    • I was actually surprised by how good this is. Really thought it would be impossible for it to be quality, just like you did, so much so that I was barely paying attention when it started. But it hooked me early, and then kept me hooked.

      I’ve only seen three 2014 movies so far, but given my low expectations for this one, I figure it has a really good chance to be my biggest surprise of the year.

  3. At the risk of getting the song stuck in your head, I though this film was “awesome.” Haha. So cute, so creative, and a wonderful voice cast. Especially Liam Neeson. Bad Cop was the BEST. Excellent review!

  4. Best movie of 2014 so far. I have yet to write my review, but I am sure you can predict where I will be going with it. I was stunned with how well done it was. And absolutely loved the humor. Kind of reminded me of South Park style comedy, without the vulgarity and such.

    • I haven’t seen nearly enough South Park to know if I agree with that comparison, but I do agree that this movie is very funny and narratively engaging.

      It is very good.

  5. I had no intentions of seeing this – purely based on the concept – until I saw the impressive trailer and now a tidal wave of positive reviews. Glad to hear you are also a fan! Eagerly anticipating its release here.

    • I didn’t plan to see it either. But my wonderful mother-in-law gave me a day off, and it was the only thing starting at the time I needed.

      I was very pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

  6. Looking forward to this one, big time! I think I will be having more fun than my kids will. Happy to see the film is getting some positive recognition. Good job! Thanks!

  7. Glad to hear the positive remarks as I’m seeing it this week but your review is definitely slightly more lukewarm than many. It seems to be getting universally five-star reviews but I’m glad you’ve pointed out some potential flaws. The film has come as a real surprise to me as I know little about the filmmakers and have similarly little enthusiasm for Lego (now or as a kid!).

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