Do you simply want to feel happy? Do you want to feel five years old again, but understand the adult jokes? I hope that the majority of people out there will say yes. If so, then definitely go see “The Lego Movie.” I can confidently say that “Lego” blew my expectations out of the water, and nothing can tone down my love for it.
With a budget of 60 million dollars, “The Lego Movie” was not a cheap venture, but the sheer magnitude of what “Lego” pulled off is palpable from the opening sequence. The quantity of Lego pieces used throughout the movie is staggering. Warner Bros. Pictures reported that 3,863,484 unique Legos were used during filming, and a total of 15,080,330 were used overall. The effort put into “The Lego Move” paid off. As of Feb. 23, “The Lego Movie” had grossed 275,515,455 dollars worldwide. As a former Lego enthusiast, I am simply amazed by the numbers.
The plot of “The Lego Movie” revolves around Emmet (Chris Pratt), who becomes the “Special” in a prophecy foretold by Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). His mission? To use the “Piece of Resistance” to stop the evil President Business (Will Ferrell) from destroying the world with the “Kragle.” The story never pretends to be anything but straightforward, but its campy nature plays toward the script’s strengths. Written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, “The Lego Movie” constantly pokes fun at itself, failed Lego products, and the absurdity of modern culture.
The best moments of the movie are defined by the cultural and political awareness that Lord and Miller infuse into the script. The blatant monopolization of society by President Business’s Octan Corporation is analogous to the large umbrella corporations of our world. Emmet experiences an epiphany near the start of the film that Octan produces all of Bricksburg’s societal and cultural needs. From TV shows such as “Where Are My Pants?” to security systems and voting machines, no aspect of Lego life is left untouched by Octan. However, our culture’s short attention span is emphasized when Emmet is constantly distracted. He immediately forgets the evils of his world in favor of blissful ignorance. It takes a traumatic experience to turn the protagonist from an average yellow-faced construction worker into the “Special.”
Pratt is joined by myriad other stars, from Morgan Freeman and Will Ferrell to Elizabeth Banks and Nick Offerman. The cast of “The Lego Movie” is stacked because everyone, or at least everyone’s kids and grandkids, played with and loved Legos growing up.
“The Lego Movie” is a brilliant piece of work that combines the youthful exuberance of builders just discovering the world of Legos, and the nostalgia of past Lego fanatics (myself included). What makes the “The Lego Movie” truly exceptional is the moral of the movie. Everyone is “Special.” It is a simple but wonderful message to the five-year-olds that just discovered their sense of individuality, and for the college students and parents that are still learning what it means to be responsible for themselves and others. No matter if you follow the instructions or go off the beaten path, everybody has something unique to contribute that is no less important or impressive than anybody else.