The Lego Movie (2014) – reviewed by George

This is a big, splashy film, almost totally CGI, that obviously many found enjoyable, but I found off-putting. Obviously lots of people liked it: the budget is estimated to have been $60 million and the worldwide gross was $468 million, 760 thousand – source: imdb.com. I’m aware that there are sets of superhero Legos available for purchase at your local toy store; I just couldn’t see why a few DC ones were inserted into this movie, some with a changed personality: Batman (voice of Will Arnett) is snarky and conceited and somewhat dismissive of his girlfriend Lucy (voice of Elizabeth Banks), and Green Lantern (voice of Jonah Hill) is a suck-up. Wonder Woman (voice of Cobie Smulders) and Superman (voice of Channing Tatum) are more like themselves, but still not quite right. I think the major reason is that this is a Warner’s release, co-produced by WAG (Warner Animation Group), and they COULD.
In the prologue the evil villain Lord Business (voice of Will Ferrell) steals the Piece of Resistance, the only thing that can destroy The Kragle, from Vitruvius (voice of Morgan Freeman). Then some years later, when he is President Business, with the Piece safely hidden, he plans to use the power of The Kragle to destroy Legoland. Does that make sense at ALL? What business will he be the Lord (or President) of, if he destroys both customers and products? I could tell you what The Kragle is and how the Piece can thwart it, but why? At any rate, Vitruvius spots Emmet (voice of Chris Pratt), a nice but ordinary construction worker, and declares him to be The Special, the one who will defeat President Business and save Legoland from The Kragle. Emmet has to join the Master Builders for training, which never happens – not the thing about joining the Master Builders, but the training.
The most telling thing I can say is that I fell asleep during the big noisy sequence where Lucy, as her super identity Wyldstyle, saves Emmet from Good Cop/Bad Cop (voice of Liam Neeson). I guess it’s good that, for this review, I had to go back over the section I missed, because Lucy tells Emmet that when he puts the Piece of Resistance onto the Kragle, it will disarm it forever. She also says that all the people of the universe were once free to travel and mingle and build whatever they wanted, but President Business was confused by all the chaos, so he erected walls between the worlds, and became obsessed with order and perfection.
Will Emmet defeat Pres. Business? Will there be a live-action finale where a father and son come to an understanding? Am I really asking these questions?
A lot of effort by a lot of talented people went into this, but for me it was time that could have been better spent. It is clever, but not funny – eye candy, but empty.
Excuse me, I’m going back to sleep.

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