Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Issues With "The Lego Movie"

OK, if you've clicked here, I'm assuming that you want to read this review.  But in the event you've clicked by mistake, there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.  You've been warned...


Many critics, and many of my friends, are talking about how fabulous "The Lego Movie" is.  So I was a bit surprised that I found it "meh."

Sure, there are some clever moments and nods to nostalgia.  But the central conceit, the "big twist" that reviewers tripped all over themselves to avoid revealing, was, in my humble opinion, telegraphed pretty early on in the movie.

The minute that I realized that Vitruvius was holding a half-eaten lollipop, and the minute that I saw the other detritus (such as discarded Band-Aids) in Lord Business' office, it became clear to me that this story was unfolding as the imagination of a little boy playing with Lego.

Unfortunately, that's also where it began to fall apart a bit for me on analysis.  I'm all for the suspension of some disbelief when going to the movies.  And my 8-year-old son does a lot of creative play with Lego, so I know that a child's mind can come up with some pretty creative things.

The movie never defines the age of Finn, the boy who is at the center of the movie.  An internet search for info about Jadon Sand, the kid who portrays Finn, suggests that he is about eight, so I think it's fair to assume that his character is close in age.  Well, my 8-year-old second grader could probably figure out the label on a tube of Krazy Glue, even if the "zy" and "u" were rubbed off (particularly if there were a dozen more tubes of the stuff lying around in the basement)!  On the other hand, my son would never in a million years come up with the name "Vitruvius" (in fact, this is his new favorite movie and he couldn't even recall the character's name a few hours after seeing it).  I get that it's a reference to Vitruvian Man, but how many grade-schoolers know the scientific works of Leonardo Da Vinci?  The name "Wyldfyre" for the heroine also rings false for me.

For that matter, "Taco Tuesday" is paralleled with Lord Business' plan for TAKOS, an acronym whose exact makeup I can't remember.  I'm not sure that my son would understand how to even begin creating an acronym.

Now, maybe I'm being nitpicky.  Maybe Finn is just more precocious than my kid, or has had exposure to different experiences that have shaped his creative play.  But at the end of the day, while I liked the broader message, the film itself didn't do it for me.

1 comment:

  1. It would have been simpler if you had wrote, "8-year-olds have consistently proven themselves unable to develop and perform a 90-minute storyline which could double as the storyline for a popular blockbuster movie."

    But then you would have realized that you're being a bit silly. ;)

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