Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Lego Movie – 2014

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Nostalgia is a both a delightful and depressing thing. On one hand, it allows us to reminisce about the past, thinking back to our childhoods and how innocently content we were playing hours on end with blocks, toys and sticks; yet on the other hand, there comes a time when reality sets in and we realise that we can’t be young forever; what a poignant truth that is to swallow. Having just finished “The Lego Movie”, it was just so touching to see subtle nuances that hit so close to home. With much anticipation surrounding this fantastically fun filled family flick, “The Lego Movie” is simply a trip back and forth in time that hits home to audiences of all demographics.

Not the most original of plots, “The Lego Movie” tells the story of Emmet, a basic, stock standard Lego construction worker that would simply blend in with any child’s vast collection. He doesn’t possess any particular unique skills or have any distinguishing features. He is as simple as they come. Based around the typical plot of ‘the underdog’, Emmet’s adventure begins through him simply being in the right place at the right time, he is a victim or circumstance. Under appreciated and more or less unknown by those at his workplace, Emmet is a nobody, however through his discovery of a priceless Lego block that can change the outcome of the universe single handedly, Emmet’s influence to the world around him (although still being unrecognised) becomes paramount in the grand scheme of things.

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There is so much to adore about “The Lego Movie”, there are endless references to childhoods and the influence the blocks have on parents making it fun for the whole family. There are mentions of present day issues along with a wonderful screenplay featuring timeless jokes that everyone can enjoy. On a personal note, what tugged at the heartstrings and took me straight back to my childhood was the character of Benny, voiced by Charlie Day; an astronaut from the 80’s who had a blue space suit with a faded logo and a chipped helmet with a missing visor . I (like many others) owned this Lego figurine, and it too had the faded logo with a chipped helmet and missing visor; it was a subtle, but beautiful touch that struck many a chord with me.

LEGO

With a standout cast of voice actors including Morgan Freeman (once again playing a God-like character, even though he’s a wizard), Will Ferrell, Will Forte, Liam Neeson, Shaquille O’Neal, Nick Offerman, Channing Tatum, Billy Dee Williams, Jonah Hill, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Dave Franco, Alison Brie and Elizabeth Banks, “The Lego Movie” is jam-packed full of talent. The vastness of the characters and their uniqueness add so many different elements to the story, adding to the fun and excitement of it all.

The concept itself is every child’s dream; to make a movie with their Lego blocks, and watching it so brilliantly done through CGI with sharp focus and immense detail, it is a very satisfying thing to watch, seeing as it plays out like most Lego adventures did back in the day. It’s so cleverly constructed through its story, it’s structural elements and referencing; it even plays on the “Toy Story” narrative structure at some points.

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Beneath the surface there is so much going on in “The Lego Movie”. There is the underlying theme of conformity and structure and whether or not it’s a good thing. Emmet follows rules and instructions both at work but also in his personal life, making him unoriginal and boring. The film is essentially his journey to becoming an original person that makes original decisions and has original thoughts. References to breaking away and creating new and original things made from several different structures are consistent throughout the film, this is both familiar to the audience and exactly what Lego is all about, creation!

Overall, “The Lego Movie” was an exciting adventure that was satisfying and deeply nostalgic. With so much packed into one-hundred minutes, it is really non-stop from start to finish. I should say one more thing though, parental guidance is recommended, as they’ll enjoy it just as much as their children will!

4/5

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