Tag Archives: The Lego Movie

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The Lego Movie

I DON’T EVEN KNOW where to begin with The Lego Movie.  As evi­denced by the finan­cial suc­cess of the film and the Rot­ten Toma­toes rat­ing that is as high as Mon­sters Inc. (a remark­able achieve­ment in itself), the great major­ity of movie­go­ers and crit­ics found them­selves enchanted and even enam­ored. Pity me, then, as a lonely anom­aly, who will never under­stand the innocu­ous joys that The Lego Movie has to offer me, or decry me as a con­trar­ian, for what could I pos­si­bly find wrong with such a beloved kid’s movie? Every­thing.  The Lego Movie is con­structed as a for­mu­laic action-adventure fable, where the unas­sum­ing every­man dis­cov­ers he’s the Cho­sen One, and is com­pelled to dis­cover unortho­dox meth­ods of defeat­ing a fear­some vil­lain, most involv­ing inner for­ti­tude and peppy assertive­ness, after being recruited by a mot­ley crew of goody-gooders.  I can only pre­sume it’s meant to be this way, and that its envi­sioned redeem­ing grace is that is it sup­posed to be a tongue-in-cheek send-up of such movies. To this end, inspi­ra­tional clap­trap is mixed with irrev­er­ent silli­ness and satire, and a few funny gags—the per­cent­age of those that elicit more than a mild chuckle is Lilliputian—punctuate long stretches of run-of-the-mill tedium in which you’re not quite cer­tain what the film­mak­ers hoped to achieve. You keep wait­ing for some­thing to change but no, the only twist that comes is a cringe-worthy cop-out that destroys any inter­est you might have had in the ongo­ing onscreen pro­ceed­ings. The Lego Movie wouldn’t have been so frus­trat­ingly hum­drum if it had really gone and plumbed the depths of absur­dity rather than being super­fi­cially quirky. In essence, it’s an unimag­i­na­tive film mas­querad­ing as some­thing smarter, fun­nier, bet­ter. It’s none of these things and the few qual­i­ties it does pos­sess pretty much van­ish after the first ten min­utes. The Lego Movie, it turns out, is not a post­mod­ern mas­ter­piece but a baf­fle­ment, and a mediocre one at best.  This is a film where a thou­sand Lego pieces go fly­ing in every direc­tion each mil­lisec­ond,  and yet I found myself bored by the story and increas­ingly weary of the throw­away wit­ti­cisms (when they occurred). Not to men­tion, spec­u­lat­ing on whether I was sup­posed to find this film visu­ally appeal­ing. If you squint, every­thing looks like a pix­elly jum­ble; if you open your eyes wide and strive to spot every detail, every­thing looks like a painful mess to step on. C–