“Everything is Awesome”

“Everything is Awesome”

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bro. Pictures


I was not prepared for The Lego Movie. I expected it to be really bad. Looking at the trailer, the film appeared to be one big lego commercial with a tired cliché story.

Then I saw it.

I left the theater reflecting on the film on the ride back. My first thought: “that wasn’t bad. Not at all.” Thinking about it for a while, I decided that, actually, it was pretty good. Then I decided that it was really good.

When the shuttle arrived back on campus, I did not leave it. I went back to the theater, got another ticket, and watched the thing again. It really is that good. And for the life of me, I cannot explain why.

The story is pretty standard “hero’s journey” fare: our protagonist Emmet is a lovable loser who lives a normal life, just doing what he is told. He finds the “Piece of Resistance,” marking him as “the Special”, a (Lego) person prophesied by no lesser authority than Morgan Freeman as the person who will defeat the evil Lord Business. It is a premise that just plain works, but throughout it makes a solid effort to throw twists in the story archetype we all know and, let’s face it, love.

The characters are wonderful and very colorful. Chris Pratt plays Emmet as one of the most lovable idiots I have ever seen in a film, and puts a great deal of heart into his performance. Will Arnett plays a scene-stealing Batman, and he is worth the price of admission alone. Will Ferrell turns in an above-average performance as Lord Business, and Liam Neeson’s “good cop- bad cop” routine is wonderful. The only weakness is with the love interest, Elizabeth Banks’ Wildstyle, who plays a pretty standard “tough” female character archetype.

The animation style is a mix between CGI and lego stop-motion. Either that, or its all CGI and the animators are supernaturally good at their job. It is unbelievably charming, and really aids the immersion. Also, my second viewing showed me that a good third of all the jokes are in the background, where they go unseen, making multiple viewings good fun. As for the music, everything is awesome. ‘Nuff said. You are going to love to sing that song and hate it when it sticks in your head at night. The rest is good, too, but you will remember “Everything is Awesome” until you die.

There is a lot more to praise, from the excellent dialogue to the fantastic humor and the great direction. Ultimately, I think that in ten years Lafayette students are going to look back at this movie the same way we all look back at Toy Story: a significant part of their childhood. I strongly encourage everyone to see it.

The bar for 2014 has been set, Disney and Pixar. Your move.