The Lego Movie is a reminder that it can all be so simple. Rules, structure, instructions, these are the pillars of adulthood that create a rubric for our complex lives that need organization. But when you’re a kid, there are few borders on your life because it’s just starting to assemble, and that is AWESOME. This young, rebellious spirit is what drives The Lego Movie. Since the previews started showing last year, I basically planned my beginning of 2014 to seeing it as many times possible. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was the last time I really fanned out. I caught an early screening of the film—in 3D—last night before it was formally released today. There had to have been at least 7 people in the theater for the 10PM showing. None of them were toddlers, or adolescents basking in the mixture of CGI and stop-motion animation. To be as generic as possible without giving away details, my favorite parts were the way LEGO bricks were assembled on-screen, the explosions, the atmospheric wide shots, the comedy, the plot twist, and the end credits. Yes, the credits were works of art on par with the 1 hour and 35 minutes of action and adventure.
Between kids, parents, and grown-ups, there’s something for everyone.
We’re introduced to the wonderful world of Bricksville at the joyful start of The Lego Movie. The fictional location is a familiar reflection of New York City—a metropolis of tall buildings, monorails, and construction sites that make way for more representations of commerce. Instructions help to guide the creation of the future that its people will gobble up without hesitation. Such homogeny though just isn’t that good for its citizens in the end. That’s why Emmit, the main character, is here to change the way we look at ourselves. His optimism for everything that has been created for him has left him without a sense of individuality. He has accepted living by routine because of the instructions that map out his existence and everyone else’s by the President Business, the control freak of Bricksville. When Wyldstyle, a rebellious girl enters Emmit’s life, she inspires him to want more than just fast food chains and the same song spoon-fed to him on the radio. The film dazzles with unique creations by Wyldstyle that hope to motivate Emmit to channel his original thought. Even his own ideas like a bunk bed couch are a hard sell at first, until they actually save his friends from drowning.
There are surprises at every turn, especially with the introduction of characters in the foreground and background. The movie doesn’t lag, it truly holds your attention as the story takes places on different LEGO sets: the Wild West, Cloud Cuckoo Land, and more. The final location though is where the movie finds resolution, and brings the peak of the emotional attachment to these toys that are allegories for the relationship we have with ourselves and our kids. I could watch this movie forever.