It’s been ages since I’ve actually written a proper review. And I don’t really feel like doing so now. But we gotta talk LEGO(TM) for second. It’s the first darling of the year (I think); with critics and fans raving about it and absolutely adoring it. The trailer looked like shit to me so I had zero interest in seeing a giant corporation just shilling for itself with a bajillion dollars to back it up. But then all of these amazing reviews from friends on LetterBoxd and Rotten Tomatoes et. al. had me actually interested in seeing what the fuss was about. I walked out of the film with ~20 minutes left to go. I had contemplated walking out after about ten minutes, but decided I paid my matinee price, I should give it a little time. I gave it too much.
So again, here are my thoughts. No proper, certainly not well-written review. But here’s a hybrid of current rambling thoughts, my LetterBoxd paragraph and comments on Facebook sort of all rolled into one…
It isn’t that I totally hate the movie – it’s the universal LOVE that boggles me. “Hate” would be a strong word, but an A.D.H.D., ugly, unfunny, generic, lazy bore would be appropriate adjectives. Whoever thinks the jokes in here are funny, clever or original have clearly never watched any sitcom ever. Or just like the rehashing of said early 80′s sitcoms. Which is fine. Humor is ubjective obviously. So I can see quite enjoying this if you’re 10 and have never seen anything else, but the pleasure button this is hitting on everyone I know is beyond baffling.
Creative? Original? In what way? It’s LEGO for fuck sake. They’re everywhere. Of course there’s going to be a movie about them. In fact, there are about a million stop motion and animated Lego movies on YouTube already. The LEGO video games are popular as hell. Someone just had the business sense enough to throw $100 million dollars at it and hire Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman to do the voice work. How is that in any way original or creative? It’s the epitome of lazy cash grab.
The visuals? Well again, YouTube is chock full of this stuff, and most of it is better specifically because it’s low budget. Throwing millions at it makes it look like LEGO vomit. Color palette? There isn’t one. It’s a million colors thrown all over the screen with the most ADHD editing I’ve seen in a long time. The above image is exactly what the whole movie looks like. Even if there is attention to detail (which there isn’t), I’d never be able to see any of it because the camera is racing around so hard and cutting from shot to shot so fast it’s like the computer controller or whatever did a line of cocaine mixed with pixi-sticks every time the director yelled action. The word “action” is not to be taken literally!
The look of the movie changes from scene to scene out of pure laziness. There is zero attention to detail here – they are LEGO blocks. How much more detailed can you get? The smoke coming out of the train (and a couple other sequences) was kind of neat, but this level of stop motion has been achieved ages ago; I think Peter Gabriel did a good job actually. So it’s nothing overly special.
Every idea in here is obvious. “All we have to do is make sure we cram in every single LEGO playset (wild west, pirates, spaceship, Hobbit, Marvel, etc) into at least one scene and we’ve got a movie guys.” When Star Wars showed up, I pretty much threw up my arms in defeat; knowing there would be not one single thought of originality in this picture. Yay for Billie Dee William and Anthony Daniels though… I guess.
There were one or two mentions of working together as a team while making Lego creations that were kind of amusing as well (“does anyone have any more black pieces… or very dark grey?” “what is this piece for?” “I need pink wheels, does anyone have any pink wheels”?). These bits reminded me of sitting in my friend’s bedroom at age nine and not having quite enough pieces (or the right color pieces) to finish my creation how I wanted it to be. But this was about ten seconds of the entire films. So upon its shoulders the movie cannot sit.
Then the half-ass message about being creative and trusting your gut and the weird utopia fascist world; but when push comes to shove, always follow the directions and do what you’re supposed to do in a team. Lame and boring and who gives a shit.
I’m pretty confident I didn’t miss anything of importance or funny or intelligence by walking out early. The plot played itself, so I know exactly what happened without me even having to see it.
And can Morgan Freeman just stop? Just stop. Is he now in the business of just trying to caricaturize himself always (see trailer for “Lemurs” that played before this movie).
Liam Neeson singing O Danny Boy was pretty funny though.