The LEGO Movie may look impressive at first, but once you look at its basic elements, it seems to be trying to copy Disney’s Toy Story. Once I realized that, my early suspicions were confirmed that in this movie, everything is not as awesome as it tries to tell us.
The film begins impressively enough, with an overly optimistic “average joe” showing us how brainwashed he is about his life due to a song that became a theme for the entire movie. Admittedly, if everybody was like him most jobs would be so much easier to handle, with no negativity to kill the morale.
The hero of The LEGO Movie, Emmet (Will Arnett) attempts to convince us that as the song suggests, everything is awesome. Cheerfully starting his day with a celebration of every single thing that happens shows us he’s really not the brightest bulb in the box. This is a fact that even his love interest Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) points out early on, despite the prophet Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman) trying to convince us that there is something special about him. He eventually reveals that there was no prophecy, much to nobody’s surprise.
Admittedly, the movie gives us an impressive display of LEGO stop motion that obviously took a lot of time, whether it was done with the actual blocks or a ton of CG. That is literally as awesome as the film gets.
It seems that The LEGO Movie knew it was about as special as its hero, because it threw in Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, a few members of the Justice League, the Millennium Falcon’s crew from Star Wars, what appears to be a cat meme, and even a robot pirate, as if trying desperately to convince us that everything was indeed “awesome.”
The plot’s climax is where the film’s true colors start bleeding through, as Will Ferrell practically sleepwalks his way through it in person. I know the movie was trying to keep him in the role of a believable villain, but when he wasn’t Lord Business, he had the personality of an actual LEGO block.
Everything is awesome………… except for the Lego Movie which sucks.
— Brian Skinner (@Rushlimbang) February 22, 2014
On the subject of the movie’s climax, it felt like the producers just ran out of money and had to resort to live action to cut costs. Toy Story never did that, opting instead to use rendered people instead of breaking the illusion that its toys actually had a life of their own. I found it incredibly disappointing that they couldn’t keep up the CG or stop-motion in the end to maintain the illusion. It’s the cinematic equivalent of discovering that Santa Claus isn’t real.
My final verdict is that The LEGO Movie was simply trying too hard to be Toy Story, and failed to actually pull it off. It’s okay as a kids’ movie, or something to keep the LEGO toy fans happy, but otherwise it’s just disappointing.