THE LEGO MOVIE, An In-Depth EF Review

THE LEGO MOVIE, An In-Depth EF Review

Here is my in-depth review of The LEGO Movie. Read on after the jump to see my verdict on this animated film featuring some of our most beloved comic book and fantasy characters, and leave your thoughts in the usual place.

Follow E.F. "Manny":
By E.F. "Manny" Camacho - 2/12/2014
The_lego_movie_wallpaper_batman


The Lego Movie
General Information
Released:
February 7th, 2014
Opened: #1 in 3775 Theaters @ $69,050,279
Metacritic: 82% with a 9.0 User Score
Rotten Tomatoes Aggregated So Far: 95% (Critics) & 93% Audience
IMDB Profile
Movie Website
Trailer


Editorial Biases:

I’ve wanted to see this movie, with all the internalized gleeful joy of the little five year old boy trapped inside my mind, from the moment I first heard this movie was being made. Even with the ridiculous number of articles I’ve worked on, edited, and categorized here on CBM; I have done my best not to ruin the bulk of the films story for myself. My family too has been just as eager to catch this film in the theaters. I had high hopes with the expectation that I, along with my family, would be laughing at a variety of silly things while chomping on popcorn, inhaling Milk Duds, and soaking in some nostalgia…If my kids and I would have come out of this film unsatisfied, I would have been surprised and disappointed.




The Good

The LEGO Movie was an extremely delightful film produced in the same vein as another well loved multi-universal referencing movie, “Wreck-It Ralph”. Yet it’s hopelessly original in its story and concept. For many of us here on CBM, it is not what we’d call a typical Comic Book Movie. If we can partially categorize or call it a Comic Book Movie at all!? We can still wallow like pigs in the DC “mud” fun factor given us with many of their beloved characters thrown into the mix. Among them, the dorkiest of Green Lantern interpretations, a ‘yet-again’ smug reinterpretation of Superman (seems that’s going around a lot these days). Including an amazingly silly and fun variation on Batman that almost feels like a normal Bat-film entry who somewhat steals the show; all ridiculousness aside.

The relatively wholesome nature of these characters using their hands to connect to each other is cute and creative. To the sweetness and imagination of the real world parallel the film uses to convey its internal message to parents. It’s all good. In fact, it’s all fantastic.


The Bad

My definition of bad in this movie will undoubtedly not be the same view others may have. Your views toward this notion depend on how liberal or conservative you are as a parent regarding what is appropriate for your children. I’ve distressed CBM readers in the past by stating my views on what I consider allowable material for my daughters (not for everyone, just for my daughters). That said, this film is for families but it still has a variety of jokes that are more for adults. Those jokes are not necessarily dirty, over-the-top, or even unnecessary. However, I always naturally turned toward my kids, ("kragled" to their seats) watching the film with a great deal of focus, when an off-color joke was thrown out and I’d momentarily observe their reactions.

While I can appreciate extra humor for my particular benefit (the adult members of the audience), sometimes I wonder if that humor is necessary. I’m a giant kid and can appreciate the kiddy humor, because I love to experience the film through my kids own eyes. Allowing me to relive my childhood through said experience; I don’t need the extra PG-13+ humor to help me through the film, that usually goes over their heads. But I (perhaps) guess that other parents can appreciate extra humor, for themselves, to help pass the time watching a movie intended for children.

But that’s just me…I’m sure some of you out there in Internetland will argue I’m over thinking this topic.


The Ugly

The unfortunate reality of a film like this is the capitalism behind it. To be honest, I’m in the industry and love the commercialism of the film. It’s economic genius. But it is (all things considered) a massive commercial for us (the parents) to go and buy a large variety of these toys. You need to be prepared to appease the youth accompanying you to the theater, or ready with your rebuttal post film credits as to why you are not buying Lego’s after going to the movies, regardless of how much of an untold fortune you spent at the theater in the first place. In my case it was $76 for four people on a Saturday Matinee, followed by a visit to Toys R’ Us to pick up two specialty packs. I lost the commercialism battle in this case.



The Great

“To the Batmobile!”
We all completely enjoyed the film as a family. We all seemed to laugh at most of the comedic material, and joked with each other over the cheesy nature of some of the lines. “See Your Butt?” Yeah even my seven year old laughed and said “Really!? HAHAHAHA!”


…and, Amazing?

“To The Invisible Jet!”
Everyone at one point or another has had some Lego’s, even the older generation at some point throughout the 70’s and 80’s would have played with their children or grandchildren. You’d be hard pressed, in this country at least, to not have some nostalgia playing with Lego’s. That makes this film stand out for families and young people everywhere.


What Might have Hurt This Film…

Nothing much really…It is excellent, we need more films like this. Throw in more references to other universes, like Marvel, Dark Horse, various video games, more, more, more!

If anything I can argue how the costs at theaters now are growing beyond the point of insane. From the portion sizes that are intended for people who can put down soda by the liter, to the horrid smell of the theaters. I prefer to buy Blu-rays and let my family enjoy their movies on our big screen. But this doesn’t really have much of a leg to stand on as far as arguments go. If I want something to complain about, besides the overarching commercialism. Why was there no post credit scene?


Overall Verdict?

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, my kids definitely loved it; even when it had a few moments that left the children’s film genre to generate some enjoyment for the adults that would understand those particularly older references. Overall it was a great movie for children, with an imaginative storyline and concept. The voices were all excellent and conveyed a sense of children at play. Not necessarily characters on a screen, but a child playing with them as we get to observe the fun. Something that becomes completely apparent by the end of the film. This is a movie worth seeing in the theaters, and well worth the expense to put in your Blu-ray collection (when it becomes available). I’m certain there will be hours of material to add and I’m looking forward to a collector’s edition.


5 out of 5 Comic Book Movie Geeks will love it (with or without the kids)!





Have you seen The LEGO Movie yet? Are you planning to? Did this review help you? Do you agree or disagree? I want to hear from you! Comment, share, tweet, pin, form your words out of Lego pieces, whatever tickles your fancy. @EmanuelFCamacho
DISCLAIMER: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and "safe harbor" provisions. CBM will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content. You may also learn more about our copyright and trademark policies HERE.
2
LIKE!
20 Comments
JohnnyRoss - 2/12/2014, 1:29 PM
I liked it too.

I'd probably go 3.5 or 4 out of 5.
erth2drew - 2/12/2014, 1:32 PM
I completely agree such a great a film....
Pasto - 2/12/2014, 1:33 PM
MANNY!
TheClemster - 2/12/2014, 1:36 PM
Well you sure put some effort into that review man

Good job!!!
efcamachopmp - 2/12/2014, 1:43 PM
Pasto!

Side Note: I'm going to dust off my NES trivia and join you guys tonight...if I can get work out of the way :)

lolken - 2/12/2014, 1:44 PM
The movie was great... the story is pretty much "The Matrix" for kids.
TheClemster - 2/12/2014, 1:49 PM
GOSH the Yoss changed his avatar :)
jlabatman - 2/12/2014, 1:50 PM
I thought it was ok, my son loved it though!
efcamachopmp - 2/12/2014, 2:08 PM
@Bropous if you had little girls that give you puppy dog eyes and know how to wrap their daddy (me) and their grandfather around their finger, you'd totally understand.

I'm their bitch - in all honesty, "No" has to come from their mother lol.
DJRock93 - 2/12/2014, 2:27 PM
Thanks for the review Manny! My brother is 9 and loved it, I'm 20 and upset that he heat me to it! Haha I might just wait out the bluray myself, solely for the fact that the same cost for 2 tickets will actually buy me the movie
DJRock93 - 2/12/2014, 2:27 PM
Beat*
efcamachopmp - 2/12/2014, 2:38 PM
@Bropous HAHAHA! Well said.

Dude, that's part of what I meant, when I threw in the random complaint about theaters. The matinee charges were $9.50 per ticket. Food was another $38 bucks for popcorn, hotdogs, soda, my addictive need to eat milk duds when I watch a movie, and some other snacks for the girls.

But you know, they'll remember this stuff when they grow up. And that is what counts for a movie like this.

@Nibs How many of us (the older folks), that grew up watching He-Man, GI JOE, and Transformers in the 80's, went out to buy Optimus Prime after seeing the Transformers movie, especially after seeing him die! I still have a Galvatron & Rodimus Prime sealed in the box from that time!

Hell, how many of us went back to Toy's R' Us after watching the Bay-splosion Transformers a few years back to buy some of the new toys *raises hands*.

I sometimes don't think about the commercialism of these films, but all of them are 90+ minute commercials for something. This film is simply obvious on a level that is ridiculous.
Dandy - 2/12/2014, 3:12 PM
5 out of 5. I absolutely loved this movie!!!!!! I'm going to see it again
SauronsBANE - 2/12/2014, 4:41 PM
Cool review! I'd love to see more of these kinds of detailed, in-depth reviews on this site, as opposed to, well...I'm not going to start naming names. Anyways, great job!

I haven't seen the movie yet so perhaps that completely undermines the points I'm about to make. If that's the case, so be it.

In your "The Bad" segment, you talked about the humor. You said it yourself, that's your opinion and it's certainly not all-inclusive. I understand and respect that 100%. Just throwing out my perspective: I don't consider so-called clean 'adult' jokes to be a bad thing at all. Especially in a movie like The Lego Movie. Because the thing is...it's not a kids movie. Or at least, not exclusively a kids movie.

Let me explain. You compared it to Wreck-it Ralph, but (from what I've read and heard about it) I'd compare it to true Pixar-Disney movies along the same vein as the Toy Story trilogy or Up or Ratatouille. Undoubtedly those films are marketed towards kids, but they manage to resonate with adults as well. That's what makes them so incredible. The themes, the messages, some jokes, all of those may go right over 99% of kids' heads, but the adults will get and appreciate them. I'd imagine that's how it is with The Lego Movie. And from what I understand, this movie is LOADED with those things. Great stuff.

Last point, about the commercialism aspect of it: it heavily involves Legos, so of course that kind of criticism will be part of it. But they could've easily turned this into a simple commercial for Legos, and it's not (again, from what I've read about and heard). It fully embraces the medium of Legos in order to tell a larger story with a more important focus. The side-effect of it is, yes, Lego sales are going to go through the roof. But that's not the point of the movie.

Again, I'll have to actually see it to confirm what I've said, one way or another. Of course. But just throwing my ideas out there. Like I said, fantastic review!
efcamachopmp - 2/12/2014, 4:43 PM
@SauronsBANE1 really good points!

GinjaNinja - 2/12/2014, 7:12 PM
best. movie. ever. Perfect in every way. Memory lain got walked all up and down during this movie.
HRDWYR - 2/12/2014, 8:19 PM
Sorry to be the buzzkill here, but this a matinee movie with the kids at best, certainly not a 5/5...3/5 tops. Don't pay full price. -just my two cents-
CPBuff22 - 2/12/2014, 9:03 PM
There was one thing about this movie that I will say is HORRIBLE and made any thought I had about seeing it a second time in theaters disappear. "Everything is Awesome" is the worst ear worm ever. Its like The Fox & Gangnam Style had a bastard child. That song was stuck in my head for three days after the movie and I was unimpressed.

Other that that I very much enjoyed the movie. I didn't find it as enjoyable as Despicable Me 1 or 2 nor did I think it lived up to some of the more iconic Disney movies (Lion King, Aladdin, Toy Story, etc), but it was a fun film and I loved how they poked fun at all the DC Characters.

Just beware of the soundtrack... it is anything but Awesome.
LordHuck - 2/12/2014, 9:40 PM
What adult humor are you talking about? The Copy Machine?
BillyM67 - 2/13/2014, 7:09 AM
Went with my son (9) on Saturday and we both loved it. Very funny. As far as costs go, they are getting pretty silly. For the two of us to see the non-3D movie, with popcorn, a box of M&M's and a drink each, cost me approx. $38. If my family of 4 had gone the price would have been approx. $75...to see a movie.

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.