The Lego Movie Review Addendum (Less Exclamation Points This Time)

In my audience, there were a lot more adults than little kids. And I think the adults appreciated the film more than the kids, whom were somewhat confused and frazzled. I think the movie has excellent rewatchability, and I actually can’t wait to watch it again — many pop culture references/inside jokes for those who grew up in the nineties and aughts, layers of stuff going on, the physical humor in the action scenes is reminiscent of The Avengers. I just don’t think it translates well generationally — the 5 – 10 year olds watching this don’t have the same backdrop of stuff going on that this movie owes so much to, and the pop culture referenced will only become more dated and alien is these kids get older. Hard to describe, but while this film has a rapid cutting style associated with films of this era, it also feels like something that is not part of the age of the Internet.

This film is a twin celebration of Legos and cinema. So much fun. A double screening of this and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World would work excellently, IMO. A screening of this film with psychedelics would also be fascinating.

Consistently positive praise from critics. A couple things I noticed from the comment threads following reviews:

-Lots of people thought that this was a film that would not be out of place in the Pixar pantheon, if not for its insanity. I agree.

-A lot of parents who enjoyed the film while their kids did not. Also, some cases were neither the parent nor the kid enjoyed the film. I have a feeling that these were older parents. I think that this film does rely a lot on common experience, and people who did not grow up in the 90s and aughts will miss out on a lot of the nostalgia that this film evokes. A few other people complained that this film had crass morals, was ambiguous (oh no, how can we expose our children to ambiguity?!), was contradictory. I actually enjoyed those aspects of the film, and feel that it set The Lego Movie apart from most “kids’ movies.” Yes, this was a very contradictory film — and I feel that that quality may have been intended by the creative team to get kids wondering, to may get adults wondering along with their kid, because the Lord knows how uncomfortable American society is with ambiguity (no data to back this up, just let me have this one).  I find that the film advocates for keeping a  “middle way” demeanor.  The writing whispers to me the precept that rules serve their purposes (especially in maintaining state order), but can still be broken on occasion to good effect. Encouraging and stirring up constant chaos would be counterproductive for a well-intentioned, responsible administration that aims to be efficient in serving its people, but a spurt of upheaval is necessary to sweep a regime that has lost its way (or never had one in the first place) out of power. There is a time and place for anything.

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