Disclaimer: I, Timothy McDonald, do not represent the opinions of everyone at DFAT in any way. In fact, most of the DFAT crew disagrees with me. Also, spoilers.
Lego has been on fire for a long time. Between the games, sets, retail stores, theme parks, and shows, Lego didn’t seem like they could do any wrong. I played Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, and I own Lego Marvel which I still play. I’m even considering buying a few sets for my home office. Two days ago I would have said “there is no way anything Lego does at this point could do be bad.” Then, I saw The Lego Movie.
On the positive side, the animation was amazing. Great visual effects and tons of detail went into making it look that way. All the scenes felt very real in the sense that it didn’t really feel like CGI as much as it felt like the Legos were alive, which was not done before. The basement full of Lego sets was cool. I was a bit jealous of that. The joke at the end about Duplo was pretty funny.
Now for the much more lengthy, negative side. The characters were so phoned in it was appalling. Chris Pratt was Andy from Parks and Rec without being funny, Morgan Freeman was God minus meaningful dialog, and Will Ferrell was Jack Wyatt from Bewitched which wasn’t funny then and isn’t funny now. At no time could I get sucked into the movie due to there being no semblance of cohesion with the dialog and the voice actors. It doesn’t work when every single character is trying to be silly. Preposterous is funny when put next to something normal (or the “Straight Man” being the person that reacts to the eccentric person to show the audience how weird they are). When everyone is doing that in different ways, the behavior is just irrelevant unintelligible garbage.
This is the story of an ordinary guy (played by Chris Pratt) that listens to the same music over and over everyday. He then discovers a very meaningful object and gets pursued by some angry henchmen of our main villain. He teams up with a group of eccentrics to save the universe from total destruction. Yes, this is the exact same plot from The Guardians of the Galaxy and also shares over a dozen of the same visual effects people. Might as well have called this The Guardians of the Legalaxy.
The humor in this movie seems to be perfectly timed bad jokes. Basically having Green Arrow use nerf tips. I really feel like they coasted on the novelty of everything being made of Lego and it was ok that the story was derivative and voice acting was abhorrent. I can’t express enough how disappointing most of the aspects of this movie were. After playing the Lego games I thought I was going to be pleasantly surprised since I knew the humor from those games. I don’t have a thing against kids movies either. I liked Monsters, Inc., An American Tail, How to Train Your Dragon 1 and 2, and The Incredibles. Many of my friends thought it was snubbed for visual effects at the Oscars but I don’t see how. The visual effects were really good but not when compared to Interstellar or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Sorry guys stop-motiony CGI Legos just don’t cut it when compared to real movies.
Speaking of the Oscars, how did “Everything is Awesome” get nominated for best original song? It’s along the same lines of Barbie Girl by Aqua and The Song That Doesn’t End from Lamb Chop’s Play Along. I feel bad for parents that have to deal with this crap.
The million dollar question: Ok smart guy, how would you make a Lego movie? Easy. Take any great serious movie, I’m going with The Shawshank Redemption (Castle Rock Entertainment which happens to be a subsidiary of Warner Brothers), and do a shot for shot remake using Legos and the original audio track. Release it for a limited time in theaters and after the movie have them text their ideas for the next lego remake to one of those text only numbers. The most submissions gets its own Lego movie.
Thanks for reading. As always I am Tim McDonald, your movie watching stunt double. Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook to make suggestions or comments. Thanks to the memory of The Lego Movie everything is not awesome.