Friday, February 28, 2014

Five reasons The Lego Movie is awesome

Cool poster; cool film
This post contains spoilers

1) It’s clever
The movie is well-animated with lots of little blink and you miss them jokes. There are also deeper jokes – the inanity of prime-time TV is spoofed by the hit TV show ‘Have you seen my pants?’ which revolves around a pantless (trouserless in the UK) guy asking his wife ‘Honey, have you seen my pants?’ repeatedly. As satire on sitcoms that rely on stupid catchphrases to get laughs, it’s spot-on.

2) It’s got superheroes (and other heroes)
Forget the hype of big-screen Batman v Superman. If you want to see DC superheroes together on the big screen, The Lego Movie got there first. The film royally rips the mick out of Batman’s ‘darkness’, while Green Lantern’s is mercilessly Green Lampooned!

There are also brief bonus cameos from Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian and C-3PO – the latter two voiced by authentic Star Wars actors Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels. Plus there’s the space slug from Empire Strikes Back!

3) It’s got an interesting point to make about creativity and order
The main plot of the Movie concerns evil President Business’s plan to set the world of Lego using the magical relic the ‘Kragle’. Once set, people won’t be able to move and people won’t be able to spoil his stuff. Opposing him are the ‘master builders’ who see the potential to create new things from the Lego buildings, vehicles and street furniture around them.

There is a conflict here between the oppressive rulers who want everyone to follow the instructions and conform – the hero Emmet actually reads out the ‘Instructions on how to fit in and be like everyone else’ at the start of the movie – and the freedom of the master builders to remake the world how they see fit. It’s an interesting exploration of the age-old tussle between conservatism and innovation, and that’s a good theme for a kid’s movie.

4) It’s been flamed by Fox “News”
Personally, I think anything that attracts the ire of Fox “News” is automatically A Good Thing. In this case one Fox “News” pundit lambasted The Lego Movie for being anti-capitalist. They said the same thing about The Muppets too. Their gripe is that business tycoons are being cast as villains, even though they create jobs and wealth.

Of course, Fox “News” is going to side with the mega-rich and look out for the interests of tycoons rather than ordinary folks. What Fox “News” don’t realise is that there is a reason why tycoons make such effective villains – we have seen enough terrible anti-social behaviour from the feral rich to believe they would destroy the world (or at least knock down valuable cultural heritage like the Muppet Theatre).

And it’s telling that in The Lego Movie, President Business would rather employ an army of robots than real people, much like the downsize kings of the business world, in fact.

5) It’s full of cult Lego references
Cathy almost jumped out of her seat when there was a glimpse of Fabuland at one point. One of the best characters is Benny the blue 80s spaceman, who is obsessed with building spaceships. (At one point one character tells him to ‘Get your retro space pieces away from me.) There are numerous cool Lego characters from the mini-figures range popping up in crowd scenes.

If you love Lego, then it’s hard not to love this movie. If you don’t love Lego, I think you will like it anyway. It’s well worth a watch.

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