I finally went to see The Lego Movie this weekend after hearing many good things about it from friends and critics alike. I was hoping to be entertained, and by and large I was. However, I wasn't prepared for what happened near the end.
Like many children, I grew up playing with Legos as a boy. I enjoyed it, even though I wasn't a "master builder." I followed instructions very well, though, even as a young boy, and was able to build my castles and hospital buildings and airports (you got the themes.... they are all BUILDINGS and STRUCTURES -- real life stuff!) But anyway, I expected much imagination in the movie and I wasn't disappointed. At times, though, I was somewhat bothered by the blatant Hollywoodism -- the frantic action sequences, the musical numbers, the potty jokes, and the Darth Vader-sh villain and "end of the world" premise. Much of it was so cliched that it was actually comforting, if not a bit overdone. It wasn't until the third act that I realized what was happening, and suddenly I understood -- the whole conceit of the story, the characters, and the tiresome GOOD vs. EVIL plot was nothing short of genius, in the context of the real story. Suddenly the meaning of the entire story shifted, and it became extraordinarily profound for me.
What I didn't expect was how, in the third act, it punched me in the guts, and in a good way. The last act and how the story shifted spoke to me in a profound and deep way that was beyond what I expected from an animation -- an animation about Legos, no less! Yes, silliness and frantic action sequence aside, it was the last reel between a father and son that touched me to no end, and suddenly Emmit's identity and journey and awakening became something rather personal to me, as I also went on a similar journey (okay, not really that "save the world" journey). There was something even more profound and deeply personal that I won't divulge here. All I can say is that I felt like I was hit by a ton of Legos bricks on a Legos train. I am still recovering from that experience.