Do you remember opening up a box of Legos as a kid? All those little pieces in primary colors with a few white, clear and black ones tossed into the mix. If you were lucky, there would be some special shapes in there too. A wheel, a window, a door. At best, the Lego guy bent at the waist and his head spun around on its axis like The Exorcist. But those C-cupped hands — they clutched onto simple tools and made him the hero of toy land. Apparently, in the land of Legos, no one needs an opposable thumb.
That was — is —what makes them so awesome. Special gadgets and high-tech features take a back seat to raw creativity. It is the reason Legos still thrive today. Sure, they have expanded their brand into every nook and cranny of pop culture from Disney Princesses to Harry Potter, but it allows all of us, children and adults alike, to explore any world we choose. Build it and they will come.
The philosophy is precisely why you need to see The LEGO Movie. The story follows construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) who has a very simple view of life. Follow the instructions, avoid conflict and life will be care-free.
Some of you may know a few Emmets in your life. You may even be an Emmet yourself. Sometimes it is easier to follow the path of least resistance.
Emmet’s world is turned upside down when he meets the spunky WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks) and her mystical leader Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). They are both Master Builders who can build anything they want from their own imaginations, no instructions required. What they reveal to Emmet at once makes him feel honored and nervous - he is the “special”, the “extraordinary” Master Builder who will save the world from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Too bad Emmett’s breadth of creativity is putting two pieces together to make a brick.
On his adventure, Emmet meets a host of characters. Will Arnett’s Batman is rich with pompous snark. Liam Neeson plays maniacal Good Cop-Bad Cop with flare, giving a whole new dimension to two-faced. Even Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams resurrect their original Star Wars roles as C3PO and Lando.
What Emmet learns is that we are often much more than we may appear to others and sometimes even to ourselves. Within each of us is a hero if we open ourselves to the possibility. While others get caught up in the “me” mentality (hello, Batman), only when creativity is shared can we really move forward and make a difference.
The LEGO Movie courts nostalgia jam packed with witty banter and spectacular animation.
You have to smirk at WyldStyle when she tosses her hair in the wind and you will no doubt leave the theater chanting that “Everything is Awesome” to the tune of the year’s best theme song.
And you know why? Because everything is awesome. You have all the pieces. Put them together to build the life you want.
The LEGO Movie: 4 stethoscopes.
Dr. Tanya Feke is a family physician and guest columnist for the Town Times. She has been press credentialed to the LA Film Festival and continues to pursue a love of film. Her reviews are rated on a five stethoscope scale.