Friday, September 5, 2014

First you take a brick.

Monday was the last day of summer vacation for my youngest children and we decided to finish it off with a “family movie night.”  We chose The Lego Movie and let me just say I was totally impressed.  If you haven’t seen it and are now rolling your eyes, shame on you for being a hater.

First and foremost, TLM is an action comedy, not a kid’s movie.  It’s completely appropriate for children because, unlike most action comedies, the gratuity is not included – not because of its spectacular animation.  I would even argue that the “over the top, on the nose” lesson is no more OTP/OTN than any other action film.  It’s just that in this case, you haven’t been overwhelmed and numbed by explosions et al. so when you get to the preachy you’re still able to function mentally.

The movie is made from Legos in a cool rendering that doesn’t get old.  If you or your children had Legos you will see some familiar bricks.  The tone is fun throughout, a little silly sometimes, always funny, and there’s a ton going on in every seen.

Bruce Wayne?  Gob Bluth?  Either way, it's all Battitude.

The portrayal of Batman is by far and away the highlight of the production from a writing/casting direction.  Will Arnett steals the show and using the character in the manner they did was a clever bit.  Also of note is the opening of the story which completely and totally sets the tone of the entire film in about 30-60 seconds.  Once you’ve seen that, Batman makes sense.  Superman makes sense.  Han Solo makes sense.  The 80’s astronaut guy makes sense.  And Morgan Freeman can say or do anything and it makes sense.

Supporting the introduction is a consistent world that, although filled with Legos and builders, has rules and never stoops to dues ex machine.  Oh, wait, they do, but they do it in a manner consistent with the story and instead of taking you out, it makes you laugh and draws you in deeper.  Bravo.

The character names are terrific and, again, support the nature of the story.  There’s President Business, Bad Cop, and Wild Style on the one side with Batman, Gandalf, and Lando on the other.  Then there’s our hero, the everyman.

It glorifies creativity, encourages teamwork, and – this blew me away – exhorts us to not be tied to the directions (rules) but at the same time not to toss them out because sometimes (gasp) the only way to succeed is to follow the rules.  Really, the only issue I had was the “You are special, just like everyone else” message which drives the logical side of me crazy.  I get the fuzzy gooey point, but that’s not what special means.   ARRRGGGHHHH.

Enough of that.  What was my favorite part?  Hard to say… Everything Was Awesome.

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