“I only work in black and sometimes very, very dark grey.”
This is a continuation of sorts of my Winter’s Tale review.
February films. On one hand you’ve got over-budgeted films that studios are ushering out in the flurry of Oscar season, hoping to be forgotten (see: Winter’s Tale, Pompeii, The Legend of Hercules), and on the other, you have the occasional surprise that lights up these dark, cold days in a cinephiles calendar.
But, alas, it is no longer February, and at long last, The Lego Movie has made its way to Australian shores. Belonging to the latter category, released in the US in the midst of melodramatic Valentines Day offerings, it’s almost too easy to overhype, something that these unique films often fall prey to.
There is a lot of truth to the buzz. From the first time Emmett’s yellow face graces the screen and the hyperactive electronic strains of “EVERYTHING IS AWESOMEEEE” plays across the screen, it has an unstoppable energy and excitement that doesn’t stop for 90 minutes. It’s almost hypnotic, actually, strangely fitting the story that it presents.
On contemplation after, Lego isn’t really a kids film. It’s a beloved children’s toy, yes, but the majority of the jokes and plot that borrows a lot from 1984 make for some of the oddest and darkest kid-aimed fare I’ve seen in a while. Lots of the laughter in the audience was from adults, not children, elicting a question that is definitely worth considering: were they maybe trying too hard to get adults to like it? Are they aiming this at this generation of young Lego fans, or those from decades past who get misty-eyed with memories of carefree fun and games and remember those mocked spin-offs of the brand?
Despite some odd narrative choices in the third act and some over-sentimentalising that definitely wasn’t required, directors Lord and Miller definitely have a good grasp of the medium, breathing colour and life into, for all intents and purposes, a bunch of plastic pieces, giving these characters the kind of fantastical stories only a child could dream of. Additionally, there’s some great voice acting, and it’s a lot of fun to guess which cameo was from who.
The Lego Movie, met with critical and audience acclaim, is a great film. It’s different, zany, and wildly entertaining. While not as awesome as the early reviews heralded it to be, it certainly makes for a worthwhile trip to the cinema.
The Lego Movie received a wide release on April 3.
PG (mild animated violence and crude humour), 101 mins.