The LEGO Movie
So this is a review.
Yesterday I watched two movies, Wanted and The LEGO Movie; I want to talk about both of them for a little bit.
Quite note: since I’m going to be talking liberally about spoilers, this is a blog post for people who have seen The LEGO Movie. If you haven’t, you shouldn’t be reading blog posts anyway- you should be watching The LEGO Moive, because honestly it’s that good.
In terms of acting, presentation, animation (CGI pseudo-stop motion, which is really interesting), ideas, and story, it’s suburb.
And if you go on Metacritic you can see it’s doing quite well, all things given. It’s reviewed quite positively everywhere, which is great, and I’m sure a lot of the reviews are saying similar things, and it’s pretty great. It’s a pretty great satire of modern culture, and it’s quite clever and meta and all those wonderful things. And yeah, The LEGO movie is one of the best post modern stories to come out in the last few years.
But what I want to talk about is very specific, and it’s what brings me back to Wanted.
The LEGO Movie doesn’t have plot holes, and that’s refreshing.
Now here me out! Logically consistent plots are important to me, and Hollywood so often doesn’t bother with them at all, s it’s so refreshing. Case in point, Wanted, which I feel free to spoil because it’s a shitty movie.
My expectations with Wanted were quite high after the first few scenes- we see an anxiety ridden wreck of an everyman, who is not confident at all and allows this situation of his best friend sleeping with his girlfriend to go on, he’s broke, and he hates his job with his evil boss. And you take this man who is NOT OKAY with crazy shit going on, and now he’s in the middle of an action movie. And I thought this was a great setup to a plot.
And I can even forgive bending bullets, whatever that means.
But the character’s motivations don’t make any sense at all; the main character is told he is a super person and his anxiety attacks are sense/speed/awesomeness boosts of some kind, and now he gets to train with the assassins. Oh yeah, and some bad dude killed his dad, and he has to avenge his dad now, or something? Oh yeah, and in addition to badass powers, he now has a million dollars, which gives him the confidence to tell his boss to fuck off and smash his friend in the face with a keyboard for sleeping with his girlfriend, in the fashion of some weird 14 year old male fantasy.
And suddenly his anxiety and worthlessness are cured in short order.
So he arrives to this facility with the pile of assassins, and they promptly beat the shit out of him before explaining anything, because this builds trust and loyalty. The same assassin pile that told him he had powers. And then the leader of the pile of assassins tells him that there is a loom that gives binary and then fate or something tells the leader of the pile that they should kill someone because fate or something, and the hero of our story promptly accepts this.
And it turns out that the pile leader was lying, and his dad was the dude they said killed his dad, and he kills his dad, though I kind of feel his dad could have communicated with him at some point? And our protagonist is super pissed at a dude that killed a dad that walked out on him? It’s pretty terrible, and doesn’t bother to make sense at all.
And the only real action sequence is right at the end, so it’s not even a generic action movie, just a movie with a bunch of people that do things for no reason.
And yes, that was terribly explained on my part, but it was pretty much my experience watching Wanted. Somewhat typical of a lot of mediocre movies, and even some good movies- the heroes do things because the script needs them to be heroes, and the villains do things because the script says they need to be villains.
But, the LEGO movie is not so. It’s rather brilliant. Also, spoilers.
And I know that The LEGO Movie cheats slightly. It takes place in the mind of a child. Which means that it reflects the world through that lens, which means some of the sillier things in the movie are explained away- but that still doesn’t mean it keeps consistency. The rules of the LEGO world are absurd yes, but they are followed- characters do logical things, and while they don’t do the most optimal things all the time, the story does a good job of keeping them true to their personalities.
Lets take Emmett. He’s not super creative- in fact at no point does he become that creative in the way the other characters are. For most of the building, all he can build is a couch, or follow the instructions- which is something that is actually shown to be helpful. When he actually gets more inventive, he doesn’t have the surreal flights of fancy that UniKitty or Wyldstyle have, or even the ornamentation that Batman has- he builds something functional that isn’t really that artistic at all. And this is the sort of thing that shows that the LEGO people actually put thought into this movie.
The Father-Son conflict is also brilliant, well executed, and makes sense within the world of the story. We can totally imagine being a child versus the rules of a parent, and this conflict, while basic, is very, very relatable. It’s presented with grace and brilliance. It’s fucking great, as it turns out. The reactions that all have are logically and consistent.
And each of the LEGO world, while being very very surreal, all have rules and a weird logic about them. CooKOO cloud land is a pile of creativity, but it makes sense as the kind of place that the child builds, and he imagines his dad destroying it… Or Lord business destroying it. And that’s pretty brilliant.
Yeah I’m basically just gushing at this movie, because characters have REASONS for things, which should be the bare minimum but here it just sort of blows things out of the water.
So yeah. Go watch The LEGO Movie again. It has no plot holes.