A movie based on LEGO is an iffy proposition. On the one hand, it has universal appeal—LEGO has been popular so long that there are kids playing with it today and there are generations of adults who grew up with it, too. Who doesn’t love LEGO? It’s awesome. But on the other hand, movies based on toys don’t have the best track record, either financially or qualitatively (see also: Battlship, Transformers, GI: Joe). I mean, how do you come up with a universally appealing plot for something that depends on individual imagination?
Surprisingly the first trailer for The LEGO Movie has been released and …it’s pretty funny. I like how it opens with a parody of The Avengers and then includes riffs on Morgan Freeman’s God Voice and Batman, hitting that line between “okay for kids, but actually entertaining for adults, too”. And I love the look of the animation, the way the figures move like stop-motion animation, which fits with the limited range of motion of actual LEGO toys. Which, now that I’m seeing this, duh, of course LEGO is film-compatible. LEGO is about building worlds—what is filmmaking but that very thing?
What I can’t figure out is why this has a February 2014 release date. February is a boneyard and this looks considerably better than a February offering. Warner Brothers must not have a lot of confidence in it, but I wonder if the positive reaction to the trailer might lead them to kick it to at least March. Then again, positioning for an easy win is increasingly the name of the game. Given that February is such a wasteland, if the movie is even halfway what this trailer promises, it’s a guaranteed hit.
I don’t know which I like better—the vocal talent or the character names. Chris Pratt heads the cast and his LEGO has a real name, Emmett, but Liam Neeson is “Bad Cop”, Will Ferrell “President Business” and Nick Offerman “Metalbeard”. That totally makes me laugh, as did the introduction to “1980-something Space Guy” and the “2002 NBA All Stars”. I’m also stoked by the presence of Charlie Day. Is anyone else excited to see him popping up in more and more movie projects? Easily 35% of my interest in Pacific Rim is Charlie Day.
(Lainey:Chris Pratt posted a photo of his new superhero body (Guardians of the Galaxy) on Twitter the other day with the caption:
Six months no beer. #GOTG Kinda douchey to post this but my brother made me.
Then he followed up with this tweet below:
Does he look like Jason Stackhouse from True Blood?)