Cartoon Karma – The Lego Movie | Everything Wrong and Right With
[♪ Singing ♪]
[“Character Dialogue“] TEGAN & SARA: ♪ Everything Is Awesome ♪ VIRTRUVIUS: “He is coming.
Cover your butt.” GUARD: “Cover the what?” With all the opening logos these days,
it’s a rarity to have a funny moment within a minute. Didn’t take long to establish goodwill. VIRTRUVIUS: “For I, see, everything!” Didn’t really amount to much, did you, Virtruvius? I know someone will call me out, so: after this, Virtruvius often looks directly at people
and things as sighted people would, despite being blind. VIRTRUVIUS: “All this is true, because it rhymes.” He’s right. How many prophecies, in both film and fiction,
are told in rhyme to make them more convincing? The various scruffs and such
are great not for the detail, but for being an attempt to make it feel more
like filmed stop-motion and less like CG. Different “clothes” for Lego figures are different
pieces entirely. To show Emmet putting some on here… I see what the filmmakers were trying to do,
but it didn’t quite work. BUSINESS: “Or you’ll be put to sleep.”
EMMET: “Wait, did he say put to sleep?” Most of the third act twist’s
foreshadowing is done so well. This would have been too,
had they not bothered with the second part. EMMET: “Oh hey, Jasmine / Dexter / Angie / Lopie
CATS (in sequence): “Meow. EMMET: “Bad Leroy / Fluffy / Fluffy Junior / Fluffy Senior
CATS: “Meow.” EMMET: “Jeff.”
JEFF: “Meow.” Emmet kept up the name listing otherwise.
Have to wonder why he left out the last one. TEGAN & SARA: ♪ Everything Is Awesome ♪ The internet dissected it to death,
so you hardly need me to point out that “Everything is Awesome” works because the film
acknowledges that songs like this become hits because of being catchy and fun to listen to,
even if they’re kind of bland. There’s plenty, and I mean plenty, of side
“joke baskets” that hint at the twist. If I don’t find all this foreshadowing on the
level of, say, Wreck-It Ralph’s late-game twist, well, little compares to that.
Point being, they’re still great. That Lego woman and her seat shift between shots.
I don’t think she moved herself, folks. EMMET: “I could sing this song for hours!” Well that was a short time between dawn and dusk. Also, Business has construction taking place
almost into the night. EMMET: “If you see anything weird,
report it immediately.” Don’t know where’s he getting that from.
This is like 4Kids text-removal levels of confusion. EMMET: “What do I do?
I don’t have my instructions.” Your instructions are right there, buddy. The whole cast is excellent, but Liam Neeson’s take
on Good Cop/Bad Cop is a highlight. He’s playing with and against his expected type,
and having a blast. Emmet was captured at sunset, yet these interviews are in the daytime,
when Emmet wouldn’t have been a target. And it’s night when Wyldstyle breaks him out.
I’d say Bad Cop set up artificial lighting on soundstages to screw with Emmet’s mind.
It did for me. EMMET: “Ow, Ow, Ow! Aheeooww!
That is going to start hurting pretty soon!” There are few properties more suited to this
tongue-in-cheek attitude then Lego. [gasps]
Emmet: “Whoa. Who are you?” So, what about the other handcuff? The best in-jokes are those where anyone can get it. All the code numbers for the Lego pieces are that – how
many of us actually paid attention to them, after all? BAD CAP: “Cut him off on Elm, now!”
GOOD COP: “Or, whenever you can.” Me thinks Bad Cap needs to know
when to shelve his Good Cop personality. Surplus to requirements 80% of the time,
including highway chases. What was the point of shooting down the enemies if Wyldstyle was going to dodge
at the last second anyway so they’d crash? I don’t mind that the house is much bigger
on the inside. Any child would imagine it so. But that doesn’t excuse the house getting smaller
on the outside when that size was established. WYLDSTYLE: “Favourite song?”
EMMET: “♪ Everything Is Awesome ♪” WYLDSTYLE: “Oh no”. The film plays around with expectations here.
You’d expect them to think Emmet is a Master Builder for a large chunk, but Wyldstyle’s only
misinformed briefly, which leaves a fresher Act II. So if the ordinary soldiers
went to actual-Stormtrooper-accuracy school, it seems Bad Cop went to Stormtrooper-accuracy-as-
described-by-Obi-Wan school. Gotta hand that to him. The sign saying ‘Old West’ goes from up close
to way in the background. Yay for perspective goofs. Wyldstyle’s horse goes from black to brown and
back again. Hope that doesn’t mean he’s having issues. WYLDSTYLE: “There’s also this one, Pirate’s Cove, Knight’s Club, Viking’s Landing, Clown Town, a bunch of others we don’t need to mention -” Hey, Bionicles were my favourite Legos growing up.
Still got several complete sets in my inner sanctum. Should have mentioned it, filmmakers. WYLDSTYLE: “Blah blah blah, proper name,
place name, backstory stuff…” I really dig how the film
can be both a parody of the chosen one narrative but also be a good example of said narrative. The key is the right balance
between sincerity and playfully skewing it. ROBOT: “- But his face is so generic
it matches every other face in our database!” It is a generic face, but every other ordinary
Lego figure has some feature on their face, be it a beard or a different hair colour or something.
So matching every face in the database? Nope. I dig how the non-Lego items have a semi-realistic
texture, given the Lego pieces feel so real. The diffused realistic look just works. For a film thriving on being wacky,
this sequence is a bit long for what is needs to do, which is just clarify his plans and wipe Good Cop away. Of course, I’m only complaining
about extra good material, so the tradeoff is, it gives us breathing room.
Such moments are important in a film with such energy. Their faces aren’t frozen.
The mother’s isn’t anyway. Just saying. VIRTRUVIUS: “Meet me upstairs in ten seconds”. [Silent Movie-esque piano music] This film is so intent on getting big grins on our
faces and keeping them there. Fair play to it. EMMET: “Introducing, the double decker couch.
So everyone can watch TV together and be buddies!” I kind of love the wee irony in the one thing
Emmet’s made being something he can’t use, given it requires friends.
Not too dark because it’s not highlighted. VIRTRUVIUS: “Your mind,
is already so prodigiously empty, that there is nothing in it
to clear away in the first place.” There’s so many neat sardonic layers to
Morgan Freeman’s performance as Virtruvius. It’s hard to make the wise old sage character seem
fresh again, and he’s to credit for a lot of that here. SHERIFF: “Draw a cowboy hat on him.” So this guy can match it up
when Lord Business’ database couldn’t? Their computers must be stuck on Windows 95. Why are all the Wild West cowboys helping Bad Cop
pursue our heroes? Colour, or build, me curious. Either Emmet predictably fails, or the
two-piece brick comically smacks one of the pursuers. Neither can surprise us. This film’s mostly so good with defying expectations
at every turn, so this sticks out. Expect a plagiarism lawsuit from Wile E. Coyote.
Nah, but the overdone explosion hits the mark, folks. So why didn’t Bad Cop fly from the start?
Yeah, I know, “dramatic effect”. But it’s not like on television
where you got to pad to fill a half-hour. Why are their backsides blinking?
Don’t tell me – butt turn signals? It’s easy to forget how fresh
and playful this Batman felt after nearly a decade of edgy Christian Bale Batman.
Lest we forget there are many takes on Batman. EMMET: “I think we’re about to crash into the sun.”
BATMAN: “Yeah, but it’s gonna look really cool.” It did look really cool. Did they just do a Lego-ized version of a shot where water droplets are
intentionally scattered onto the lens? That’s as impressive as playing around with
focal length for cinematic effect, sort of. It gives me no pleasure to say a film
this great is overlong, but it is. Not by much,
but the middle third of the film could do with some trimming,
as the manic energy gets to be a petit bit draining. Unikitty is my favourite character,
and that’s saying a lot here. It’s a classic example of a character
doing one thing so well that said character makes a bigger impression
on the adults then the complex characters. Maybe her Cartoon Network series
won’t be another Teen Titans Go, eh? GREEN LANTERN: “Hey Superman!”
SUPERMAN: “Oh hey – hey… what’s up…?” GREEN LANTERN: “Lantern. Green Lantern.”
SUPERMAN: “Y – yeah.” GREEN LANTERN: “You wanna
sit together at the meeting?” SUPERMAN: “Um, I have to go back to… Krypton…”
GREEN LANTERN: “Didn’t… didn’t Krypton blow up?” This Jonah Hill Channing Tatum in-joke is brilliant. Helps that these seconds alone are better
then all of Green Lantern and Man in Steel. The only pre-existing characters that get
anything to do are Warner-owned properties. Just a wee bit much attention is called to that fact. I know, licensing costs money,
and they didn’t know whether this film would succeed. Might have been better to
have only original characters then. Love Batman picking his teeth with his
Bat-Boomerang in the background there. Totally something this Batman would do. This Mini-Magician popped up
when the quartet entered. Not possible if he was captured
in MetalBeard’s previous attempt. Being honest, MetalBeard is the one character
in the film that doesn’t really work for me. Guess the pirate parody just doesn’t gel. The rainbow path as well as the
land it extended from up are totally gone. Kid’s doing a bit too much
unnecessary set rearranging here. The tracking device disappears and only
comes back when the plot needs it to. This is so obvious
I almost didn’t bother mentioning it. Almost. Seriously, it would have been better to just not
bother and leave how they tracked them unexplained, given this film’s anti-logic logic. BATMAN: “To the batmobile!” BATMAN: “Dang it.”
WONDER WOMAN: “To the invisible jet!” So the invisible jet was parked on top of
the Batmobile? Uh huh. SHAQ: “Y’all ready for this? Oh no, they were ready for that!” This NBA gag is great. Even better with that music. This part here requires a mad suspension of disbelief that our heroes are basically unnoticed
by any of the bad guys for a minute. Easy to miss, but I love the part where Bad Cop kicks
a chair out again in frustration. Great callback. When the filmmakers focus on Wonder Woman
being handcuffed, it’s a bit too much of a direct connection to that old weakness
where her powers were nullified when a man bound her. Lord & Miller, you’re better then that. We don’t get a reason for why
the sub started capsizing. I misremembered it as being because of Emmet accidentally
taking pieces that kept it together for his couch. That would have been neat. SUPERMAN: “It can’t get much worse then this.” GREEN LANTERN (off-screen): “Uh, hello, neighbour.”
SUPERMAN: “Oh no.” Poor Superman. He just can’t seem to catch a break,
can he? Funny for us, though. METALBEARD: “I watched Lord Business’
forces completely overlook it.” No you didn’t. You were fleeing. EMMET: “What’s the last thing Lord Business
expects Master Builders to do?” METALBEARD: “Why, this.” Well… I didn’t expect that. Typically, films that vilify
mass culture can be one-sided. Despite using it as a scapegoat for many jokes, this film doesn’t suggest that
following the rules is automatically evil. Rather, that sometimes doing your own thing is right,
and sometimes using a blueprint is right too. It’s a “conformist vs. contrarian” message,
but one where the conclusion is to compromise. BATMAN: “What do you think: a spaceship is just gonna
appear out of the blue – are you kidding me!” Now that The Lego Batman Movie is out, we know the damage having large chunks
taken up by a “Spot the Reference” game can do. But as a solo gag scene, this works just fine.
Batman’s reaction seals it. HAN: “This hyperdrive keeps malfunctioning,
taking us to loser systems like this.” Han’s voice is off just enough to notice. Not to slight Keith Ferguson, his Han voice
works wonders on Robot Chicken. Just not here. BATMAN: “Plus, it turns out the hairy one’s a dude.
And the metal one too.” Now that is a fabulous mythology gag if ever I saw one. C3PO’s early design was inspired
by the classic female android from Metropolis, so for Batman to mistake 3PO for female…
priceless. Now that’s how to do a butt joke right.
The joke being they are Lego butts. Beats minions photocopying their butts, am
I right? METALBEARD: “First law of the sea –
never place your rear end on a pirate’s face!” So the screen lid was his face?
Yeah, I don’t know either. Also, Emmet sent the largest member of the group…
on the mission stealth segment… VIRTRUVIUS: “That idea is just… the worst.” EMMET (V-O): “Step five: Virtruvius will provide
lookout and make sure we’re not being followed”. He’s blind. I get they want Emmet’s plan to be flawed,
but it started out so well done. Clearly the filmmakers couldn’t think
of a role for Virtruvius to do that would still result in the group failing. BATMAN: “Brace Wayne, CEO of Wayne Enterprises.
(V-O): “Bruce Wayne? Uh huh huh… BATMAN: “Who’s that? Sounds like an cool guy.”
[Wildstyle Sighing] In all the many years of Batman, I can honestly say I’ve never seen such a funny
“Batman denying to be Bruce Wayne” gag. [Emmet beatboxing to tune of “Everything Is Awesome”]
EMMET: “Everything is awesome!” ROBOT: “No way, this is my jam!” So robots whose sole purpose
is to construct and maintain order are programmed with a favourite jam?
Uh huh. WYLDSTYLE: “I wanted it to be me, okay?” “Lucy.
That was my real name.” It’s a little disappointing that Wildstyle’s storyline plays out in a mostly-typical fashion
of modern female animated characters. It only seems that way because of how the film
plays around with every other convention it uses. BATMAN: “Hey, what are you two losers talking
about?” Swell timing, Batman. Nah, but the film does know
how to balance its humour and sentiment properly. Good film, knowing how to make unavoidable
“getting past the minions” bits that might be tedious, be comic due to their brevity. BENNY: “Disable the shield!” METALBEARD: “Be ye disabling of yon shield, uh…” COMPUTER: “Disabling shield.”
BENNY: “What?” Yeah, so the computer was being
a giant d…jerk to Benny. VIRTRUVIUS: “The prophecy. I made it up.” Normally he’d be telling Emmet this
because otherwise it’d go to the grave with him. But since he comes back,
this just results in very bad timing. The micro managers managed to pin him with a band…
through… the gluey gap between him and the piece. I really don’t care, but there it is. BUSINESS: “Unfortunately, I’m going to
have to leave you here to die.” The only reason Business sentences Bad Cop to die
is so he has a reason to reform and help later. It’s done well, but not well enough for this film. No zoom-in shot for Unikitty?
If Benny got one, she should have. “Star Destroyer looming past the camera”
spoof shot is as good as they come, folks. Yes. Him being on a string. Just… yes. Noble sacrifice is noble, folks.
Nothing to dissect here. They film a fictional TV series in a
government tower. Uh huh. WYLDSTYLE: “You don’t know me,
but I’m on TV, so you can trust me.” This, right after their President
has proceeded to attack and freeze them. Yeah, I’d totally trust what the television tells me. SQUIRE: “I used to think they were followers.” Neat touch having a squire read what she’s
saying, but this can’t be happening
at the same time as the broadcast, even though the film indicates otherwise. Where did they get this footage? I get to decide which of these things get excused under
“imagination”, folks. There’s a method to this madness. WYLDSTYLE: “Today will not be known as Taco Tuesday.
It will be known, as Freedom Friday! “But still, on a Tuesday!” That’s a neat way of working around the week’s days. BENNY: “I could, uh… I could… build a…
I could build a spaceship!” Perhaps the most adorably funny moment
in the film here, folks. You already love it. Their escape ship goes from full size
to a three-brick cramped pod and back again. Good job, filmmakers. Or Finn,
whichever is to blame. Unsurprisingly, MetalBeard’s cannonballs
replenish whenever they need to. This isn’t a video game,
unlimited ammo ain’t a thing. The filmmakers have the first shot of
Emmet’s model face mirror the one from before, to keep the reveal of it being live-action
held back for a bit longer. A small group of people, but a notable group, really don’t like the conceptual direction
the film takes with this live-action part. But this defines to such a large degree
why the film is as great as it is. You want a lark of a comedy that doesn’t have this
and is therefore somewhat more disposable? Watch The Lego Batman Movie.
Point being, this part rocks. Throughout, Emmet’s hair piece switches to
seamless several times, as opposed to having a seam. The Millennium Falcon and Slave I in the background.
Never noticed that before. Helps make the Star Wars bit
feel random within its own rules. Will Ferrell’s done a great job playing Business
thus far, but I think he tops it here. He’s doing a spoof of himself
while remaining grounded. FINN: “The box for this one said ages eight to fourteen.” MAN UPSTAIRS: “That a suggestion.
They have to put that on there.” Oh my gosh. I can’t… I just…
that’s just the best kind of meta humour. Sometimes the micro-managers are figures,
yet other times, it seems like they’re whoever controlling the figures.
Make your mind up. Squirting out superglue like that… not a good idea.
That stuff will harden pretty fast. EMMET (gasps):
“The Piece of Resistance! I can still save them!” Emmet got a good look at the other tubes. Emmet being able to move throws Inception-level
confusion straight into the heart of the film’s logic. Try not to think about it too much. There’s some lovely comic mileage to be got out of The
Man Upstairs looking back every time Emmet moves. The Piece of Resistance goes from
Emmet’s right hand to his left. For some reason, Wyldstyle and Unikitty,
whilst being cornered, go from their space attire
back to their normal clothes. WILDSTYLE: “Emmet!” There’s our obligatory lip-sync mismatch, folks. Second best moment, Unikitty going berserk. Like Benny building a spaceship,
it was comically foreshadowed and totally worth it. Though it’s a little odd that this
is what make Unikitty goes berserk. Does this compare to Emmet’s sacrifice earlier? Business swapped his helmet and hair pieces earlier.
So how is his hair piece under his helmet piece? Those are all fan-submitted Lego short films.
The love is present in them even if you don’t know that. What’s great about the last third
is how a simple, common message – – “everyone is special, and everyone can have
fun in their own way” – has so much power. The film’s so full of life and ingenuity that
its points ring true rather then feeling forced, even though the film is not aiming
to be psychologically deep. MAN UPSTAIRS: “Finn, did you make all of this?” He’s only just now noticing all the stuff his son made? The color of Business’ hair differs between
the model and animated version. Subtle, but it’s there. MAN UPSTAIRS: “So…
President Business is the Bad Guy?” There’s just enough dry wit there to keep
the scene on the border of being too saccharine rather then stepping over it. EMMET: “You… don’t have to be… the bad guy. “And you are capable of amazing things.
Because you, are… The Special.” The best thing about this film, and about Lego,
is the lack of cynicism and the generosity. The aim to celebrate, rather then to condemn, trickles down to the characters’
easy willingness to forgive and redeem. This teared me up just watching this short clip
to script this particular Karma, folks. A great subtlety of acting is Finn’s
brief hesitation in hugging his dad, as he doesn’t understand what his dad
has just realised. What child would? Hey, I can reward live-action
subtleties within animation. The film doesn’t go overboard with a long denouement. Fits, as for a peppy kid, all the characters being
forgiven is all the resolution needed. MAN UPSTAIRS: “Now that I’m letting you
come down here and play, guess who else gets to come down here and play?”
FINN: “Who?” MAN UPSTAIRS: “Your sister.”
FINN: “What?” ALIENS: “We are from the planet Duplon.
We are here to destroy you.” I think my sides, which were already
on life support, just passed on, folks. Helps to end on a hilarious note
after being deservedly reserved for a while. I like how the credits are all in actual
stop-motion to show that it could be done, financially if not in terms of time. How great is it that all nine
main cast members were excellent? You get the feeling they all found the right creative
direction and ran with it as fast as they could. No weak link, even if we have our favourites. What makes the film so conceptually sound is how the theme of letting your imagination loose
isn’t just a plot thread. It’s present everywhere. It’s one thing to be about something as a story,
and another for that something to inform every facet. From the rapid location changes to the effortless
usage of pre-existing characters, it’s all there. Take the animation. Yes, it’s top-notch CGI
with realistic lighting and textures, but the physics deserve comparison
to the most anarchic Looney Tunes. The ethos of not being restrained by the norm
is visually embraced. It’s a film about Lego, what it means to us
and what we can bring out of it. The visuals serve to reflect that. How many mainstream animated films are there
where the visual look means something? Minus nine. For a hilarious lark that’s so joyful and bright,
it deserves no less then inching into single digits.