Film Review: The Lego Movie

In the same way that Frozen seems to have clung on and refused to go into the night, The Lego Movie has also managed to sneak in from the corner, outperform expectation and create an almost cult following. People just seem to love it. People rave about it being one of the best films of the year, and that Oscar success is likely on the horizon, but I’d never seen it.

I’m not really sure why I missed seeing it in the cinema, especially after the weeks of positive reviews it received, but I did. And so, it’s taken until now to finally see what all the fuss is about. It did, however, mean that I have had to wait to see it on 3D Blu-ray, but still, I can finally say I’ve watched it.

Sadly though for me, as a film it really didn’t hit the mark. And I really don’t see why all the hype that surrounds it is there. In fact, such is my confused dislike for it that I really don’t see the need for a follow up, or even the Batman spin off. I’m sure I’m missing the point, but it never moved me. It never excited me and it certainly never made me think everything was awesome.

CGI Making Of The Lego Movie

The first thing that really struck me was that I was watching this on the wrong screen. I couldn’t help but feel that on a television screen, and the smaller confines it dictates that I was somehow losing out. Everything seemed compressed and enclosed and I felt that it needed the bigger screen a cinema can offer to really provide the full visual impact that it has. Because it must be said, it is stunning, but it should be with such a broad colour spectrum to play with and being entirely CGI there is a real crisp glossiness to the characters, the worlds. They feel plastically and bright and even with the light loss of stereoscopic 3D it still looked impressive.

And the 3D even works! Once again, the CGI base proving my theory that when used in a environment that doesn’t physically exist 3D can have an added benefit, rather than destroying the depth and connection between the foreground and background. Also, it never feels over used, there are no points where you think shots, angles or sequences have been included purely for the 3D imagery they can provide. It always felt used more as a subtle tool than a photographic gimmick.

However, once you’ve got over the visual side of the film, and start to look at it from the point of view of story, characters, and context; for me, everything starts to fall apart. I never really engaged with the characters. You never really felt like you were getting to know them. They all felt simplistic and shallow in their description. They’re just presented. I also, never felt comfortable as to the seriousness of them. Were they parodies of other characters from other sources or serious individuals. And this lack of definitive trust in who they are meant I never really rooted for them. I just went along for the ride.

The Matrix - The Lego Movie

That lack of trust created by the  sense of parodied distraction is born out of the fact that major parts of this film story board borrow from other sources. The Matrix reloads, reveals and returns on numerous occasions boarding close to libellously at times, while The Hunger Games lends our female lead her inner strength when it comes to rousing speeches. And they are the two most obvious, I’m sure there are more if you really want to look.

One of the big strengths people talk about with The Lego Movie is how funny it is. And I will admit, there were times that it made me laugh. But it was never anything more than a fleeting murmur, a passing chuckle. I never really roared with laughter, and it certainly never made me collapse in hysterics. It was more a case of simply raising a wry smile at a clever line or touch rather than anything prolongedly comedic.

I had been looking forward to The Lego Movie for a long time, with talk of the Batman spinoff coming (which I don’t understand as I found him a nasty and unlikable character if I’m honest), the constant flow of loving reviews, and the fact that weirdly, having not seen it was something I almost didn’t want to admit to, I really can’t believe I was treated to the movie I was. As I’ve said, I found it poor and even worse, I found it immature.

I really just don’t get it. And I’d go as far as to say, that I spent most of the film thinking that all The Lego Movie does is prove just how good Aardman and Pixar are when it comes to animated movies.

6 out of 10 stars (6 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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