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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

The Lego Movie: Everything was awesome

The Lego Movie opened with its aptly named theme song, “Everything is Awesome,” and ended up being a nonstop ride of jokes, pop-culture references and mind-exploding Lego creations. The team of designers and animators created an entire world for this movie, immersing us in a world where everything is Lego, even the waves in the ocean. Though it was a fully animated, computer-generated film, it used a clever jerkiness effect to simulate a stop-motion style, paying homage to the hours of stories we all created as children, playing with Legos over the years.

The story follows Emmet, a generic construction worker voiced by Chris Pratt, who lives in the Lego city of Bricksburg, in a world dominated by President Business’s Octan Corporation. This is a world filled with instructions and order for everything. Emmet is just another ordinary citizen, so generic that he is entirely forgettable. Then, Emmet accidentally finds “the Piece of Resistance” one day, and his entire world changes. In a gentle mockery of “The Matrix,” Emmet is rescued and told of his destiny as “The Special,” which was foreseen by Vitruvius, a blind seer voiced by Morgan Freeman. Emmet, as “The Special,” is destined to save the world from destruction by President Business.

The movie follows his adventures around the Lego world, with comical guest appearances by Batman, the Statue of Liberty, Abraham Lincoln and others. There are gentle pokes at pop culture, such as the 38 dollar coffee at Bricksburg’s coffee shop and the “instructions” to always root for the local sports team (creatively called “sports team” in Bricksburg) that add to the hilarity. The movie also features a star-studded ensemble cast as an unexpected bonus: Liam Neeson plays good/bad cop, Will Ferrell is the ludicrous President Business, Will Arnett plays a Gob-inspired Batman and Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill continue their awkward bromance as Superman and Green Lantern, respectively.

This movie is not like the “other” toy-based movies often released. Rather than over-the-top special effects and a pointless storyline permeated with explosions, the Lego Movie delivers the dream creation of any Lego fan, a world full of creativity and humor. One critic described it as “a tribute to Lego made by enthusiasts, not an ad for Lego made by hacks.” There are tons of subtle jokes only true Lego fans will notice, including the part identification numbers surrounding pieces during construction sequences and the sorry state of the 1980s Spaceman minifigure. (Everyone somehow has one minifigure like it.) The story and its lessons are simple enough to be understood by children, yet universal enough to be enjoyed by adults. The humor ranges from simple gag jokes that have everyone in the theatre giggling to more complex puns for the adults watching the film.

The Lego Movie is obviously intended as a kids film, as evidenced by the PG rating and the fact that I was one of the few patrons in the theatre who was neither a parent nor accompanied by a parent. However, it is universally enjoyable, especially if you’ve ever played with Legos. After seeing so many movies dealing with intense violence or emotions, it is so wonderful and relaxing to immerse oneself in a world where everything is awesome.

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