Call it a hazard of being the father of a young son, but when I heard about The Lego Movie, I knew I was destined to go see it. When we saw the commercials and my son realized that the Green Ninja from his beloved Ninjago made an appearance, I cleared my calendar. And when I realized that we’d be able to make it to the theater after he got out of school today, I knew I’d have to bust out my AMC Stubz card and see what the movie’s all about. Much to my delight, this turned out to be a great story for both the kids in the audience and for the adults as well.
The story focuses around Emmet. He’s just an ordinary construction worker in a big city. He tries to live the way he’s supposed to, following “the instructions” (which should look way too familiar to anyone who’s built a Lego set at any point in their lives). But then after work one day, he spots a beautiful girl in his construction site. He falls into a pit and comes into contact with a mysterious artifact, one that could prevent the evil Lord Business from destroying the world.
Soon Emmet is on the adventure of his life. He’s got some support from the girl, whose name is Wyldstyle, Batman, an old spaceman Lego minifig named Benny, and dozens of other “Master Builders.” Is Emmet the prophesied “Special” who can save the day? Or will Lord Business destroy the world on Taco Tuesday?
Going into this movie, I had no idea what to expect. I mean, it’s a Lego movie. I’m familiar with kids shows and movies designed only to shill toys. I’m a child of the ’80s, after all, and grew up with Transformers, G.I. Joe, and He-Man. And in some ways, this is a movie for kids. The plot is pretty simple and straightforward in some ways, a classic good vs. evil tale with a somewhat standard, straight-forward message that gets repeated a lot in kids movies.
At the same time, though, there’s plenty of stuff for the parents, some unexpected cameos and shout-outs to old Lego sets that we had when we were kids. For example, there’s Benny. The first time I saw him, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia. I had a space Legos set that included a spaceman minifig just like him. As a matter of fact, I seem to remember that my spaceman had a break in his helmet in pretty much the exact same place as Benny.
But what really made this movie shine was the “twist” at the end. I put that quotes because, in some ways, I saw the twist coming, so much so that I don’t think it was supposed to be a real surprise. But at the same time, part of the twist was unexpected. The “why” of Lord Business’s scheme is incredible. Totally unexpected. And it was good. So good.
So if you have a kid (or even if you don’t), take them to see this movie. You won’t regret it. It’s just a lot of great fun.