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Go Watch The Lego Movie, It’s Better Than You Remember

As a kid, I was obsessed with The Lego Movie. I would recite the lines with the characters, screaming, “spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!” with Benny or performing Metalbeard’s dramatic soliloquy. All in all, I had and continue to have a deep love for this film. So, when I saw it on the little screen on my plane ride back from Boston, I couldn’t not watch. Despite the lady with her seat all the way back in my lap (failing the ultimate test of character) and the crying baby to my right, The Lego Movie held up, surprising and reminding me why I loved it so much to begin with.

From the get-go, The Lego Movie lovingly subverts kids movie stereotypes ultimately revealing its thesis; that everyone is capable of incredible creativity. This emotional core is illustrated through a variety of filmmaking tools that surprise and delight.  From the neo-futurist utopia of the “Bricksburg” to the surrealistic critique of late-stage capitalism, The Lego Movie tells a simple yet effective story that can make you laugh or cry.

The Lego Movie’s use of filmmaking tools to critique capitalism is seen through “Bad Cop”. “Bad Cop/Good Cop” is a direct reflection of the consequences and negative effects of policing under late-stage capitalism. The Cop is a yellow mini figure, whose face rotates around from being a smiley, happy, friendly neighborhood police officer to a violent aggressive cop. The inclusion of this character displays the idea that all cops have the capacity to be violent because of the system in place. Additionally, The Cop becomes just Bad Cop after his good cop face is erased for not embracing President Business’s violent plan. Again this reflects how being a “good cop” is impossible and we reward violence under late-stage capitalism.

The medium of Legos perfectly illustrates these points. They are inherently creative, for children. They are toys. Shifting this powerful critique of American society to a medium of toys emphasizes and outlines the absurdity of “embracing the instructions”.  

I have so much more to say about this movie, from the critique of obsessive, controlling parents, to teamwork, to “specialness”, to spoofs of action movies, to Will Ferrell and Morgan Freeman, to Lego Batman, but I think this article would be 30 pages long. While there’s so much to say, there’s not. Just watch the movie. Again or for the first time. I’ve never met someone who doesn’t like it, and I don’t think I ever will. It has a magic formula. One where we can experience its magic and silly moments, and still leave the film crying and contemplating our world.

I’ll leave you with one quote from The Lego Movie that doesn’t relate to anything I’ve written but felt like a good way to end this:

“You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I, and so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it’s also true. It’s about all of us. Right now, it’s about you. And you still can change everything.”

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About the Contributor
Greta Hanson
Greta Hanson, Staff Writer
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