Monday, August 4, 2014

Lego My Ego

The Lego Movie (2014) is definitely fun, clever and funnier than it had to be. It was written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the team responsible for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, both also better than they had to be.

This computer animated movie takes place almost entirely in a Lego world. Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) is a perfectly ordinary Lego mini-figure with a job building Lego projects exactly according to instructions. He loves his job, and his attitude is summed up by the dance hit of the summer - "Everything is Awesome". But he is fingered by wizard minifig Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) as the Special One, who would overthrow the tyranny of Lord Business (Will Ferrell), etc. All this would be pretty dire, except for the cute yet feisty girl minifig he meets, Wild Style (Elizabeth Banks).

All of this is partly but not quite entirely just an excuse to run through lots of Lego sets and meet minifigs like Batman, 1980's spaceman, Abe Lincoln and George Washington, a pirate, and Superman and Green Lantern (Tatum Channing and Jonah Hill from 21 Jump Street). These scenes are pretty great, and very funny - especially Will Arnett's super-serious Batman.

But that's not all - the movie takes a serious, almost real-world twist towards the end. It doesn't get too heavy, but it is more than just a series of riffs supported by clever CGI.

However, I must say - I'm not sure this stuff is for us. I enjoyed all of these movies, but I didn't love them. I am including the Lord and Miller movies, but also Wreck-It Ralph and similar. I wonder if we're just the wrong generation (even though the jokes all seemed to be aimed at Boomer/post-Boomers like me). I feel like I might be like the grownups who didn't get Rocky and Bullwinkle back in the day. I can see the talent, and I respect it. It just doesn't thrill me.

In conclusion, I'll keep watching, they may be getting better.

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