*Spoiler Alert! Reading this post will tell you what you already figured the message of the new Lego Movie would be. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Ever since we saw Despicable Me 2 last summer and our boys saw a trailer of the new Lego movie, they have been dying to see it. I hardly doubt there is a boy in the 4-12 age range who isn't dying to see this
Right off the bat, the movie showcased the big gun voices: Morgan Freeman and Will Farrell in a super villain vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi-like sage battle of good and evil.
In steps The Everyman, Emmet (Chris Pratt of Parks and Recreation fame), the construction worker drone living in an Orwellian society who has never had an original thought in his life, and he likes it that way. Until he falls down a really, really, really long Lego hole and finds what is needed to defeat the villain. And by chance, he becomes . . .dun, dun, dun: The Chosen One- or as they call it in this movie, The Special.
Here's where it gets weird.
Emmet meets a mysterious woman (voiced by the lovely Elizabeth Banks), whose name is - get this - Wyldstyle. No, that's not her porn name, but a name she has chosen which prompts everyone who meets her to ask, "Are you a DJ?" Elliott moves in and out of consciousness listening to her talk in her velvet porn voice a few times, reminding me uncomfortably of a tweenage wet dream in progress.
From here, it's one Star Wars/Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter-type reference after another as Emmet and his band of hodge-podge, mash-up characters attempt to defeat Farrell's President Business who is determined to freeze all the pieces of his cities in place - no deviating from the rules allowed. He even brings in 'micromanagers' to be sure everything is perfect.
There are Matrix-type fight scenes, psychedelic characters, dream sequences, and so many butt jokes I lost count. By the end of the movie, it's clear that the writers are stoners with Daddy issues, sending a definite anti-establishment message. Rebelling against childhood notions that one moment everybody is special and the next you're a nobody, and that you shouldn't "get a trophy for just showing up," the Lego movie writers are clearly sending a message to parents on behalf of the Lego company driven home in the last 20 minutes of the movie (which I won't give away).
Out of our four boys, aged 10 and under, the movie received two thumbs way up, one thumb to the side, and one thumb down (of course that was the two-year-old who preferred to sit in the back of the theater watching Mickey Mouse on the iPad).
All in all, I did think this movie was clever and entertaining, though I did roll my eyes a lot at the in-your-face societal commentary. And I am never going to be able to get the awesome theme song out of my head.
So, parents, run, don't walk, to the nearest theater closest to the most accessible Target, because on your way home from the movie you know you will see no matter what the reviews say, you'll want to spend $200 on a Lego set that your child never finishes putting together since he's lost the instructions but that's okay (oops, I said I wouldn't give away the last 20 minutes). The world so clearly needs people who can both follow instructions and think outside the box.
As long as it's a Lego box, that is.