Have you ever rewatched a film that you remembered as being pretty great just to then be totally shocked to discover that it really wasn’t even that good?
It’s happened to me more times than I care to count. Often times, it seems like the films that have the most immediate impact on us are the same films that, in a matter of weeks, we often end up forgetting. My personal theory is that these films are so designed to make an immediate impact that there’s often little room for the subtext that would be necessary for a movie to actually linger in the mind. These are the type of films that we remember enjoying but it’s often a struggle for us to explain why we thought it was great. (“Oh my God,” we say, “it was such a great movie!” and then we leave it at that.) When we do get around to watching the film for a second time, we’re often left slightly disappointed. Now that we know what’s coming, the film no longer has as much of an impact.
It happens all the time and I hate it. That is why, often times, I find myself dreading the second viewing. Will the film still work the second time or will it turn out that the film only truly works when viewed with virgin eyes?
That’s one reason why I was feeling a bit of trepidation about rewatching The Lego Movie when it showed up on HBO this month. After all, I loved the Lego Movie when it was originally released earlier this year. As soon as I got home from seeing it at the Alamo Drafthouse, I jumped on twitter and tweeted out, “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!” For the past few months, I’ve been telling everyone that the Lego Movie was great.
But was it really?
Of course, everyone knows what The Lego Movie was about. President Business (Will Ferrell) is seen by the residents of the Lego Universe as being a benevolent ruler but actually, he’s an insecure control freak who enforces strict conformity and who is planning to use a mysterious weapon known as the Kragle to rob everyone of free will and imagination. A group of rebels — known as the Master Builders and led by Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) — hope to stop him. According to Vitruvius, a chosen one will defeat President Business and, to everyone’s surprise, the Chosen One turns out to be a cheerfully ordinary construction worker named Emmett (Chris Pratt).
There were so many things that I remembered loving about the Lego Movie.
I loved the voice work done by the film’s talented cast. Along with the perfectly selected Ferrell, Freeman, and Pratt, the cast also includes: Will Arnett as a hilariously pretentious Lego Batman, Elizabeth Banks as the rebellious Wyldstyle, Liam Neeson as Bad Cop, the always brilliant Nick Offerman as a pirate called Metal Beard, Charlie Day as a “space guy,” and Alison Brie as my favorite character, Unikitty (a unicorn/kitty hybrid, and who wouldn’t want to own one of those?). And, of course, there were also cameos from Channing Tatum as Superman and Jonah Hill as a hilariously obsequious Green Lantern. I remembered that all of these actors had done great work, bringing very vivid life to their characters.
And I remembered that all of the actors were aided by a script that was full of funny lines and clever bits of satire. I remembered loving the enthusiastic way that Charlie Day talked about making a spaceship. I loved Will Arnett’s pretentious hipster posturing. I loved the way that Chris Pratt could deliver a line like, “I understand what you’re saying but could you repeat it again because I wasn’t listening?” I loved Liam Neeson switching back and forth from being the ruthless Bad Cop and the painfully nice Good Cop. And most of all, I loved Morgan Freeman. Freeman, of course, is known for having the most God-like voice in the movies and, in this movie, he delivers even the most over-the-top dialogue with a calm and soothing authority.
And I loved the song Everything Is Awesome, an earworm if there ever was one!
And finally, I remembered that — as funny as The Lego Movie was — it also made me cry. The theme of being yourself and going your own way is a common one but the Lego Movie expressed it with such sincerity that it was impossible for me not to be moved as if I was hearing it for the very first time.
So, as I lay down to rewatch the Lego Movie, I asked myself if the movie would live up to my memories.
Well, guess what?
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!
The Lego Movie is just as good on subsequent viewings than on the first! So, if you somehow haven’t watched it, then watch it now. And if you have watched it, watch it again!