The 2014 Channing Tatum Initiative Unveiled, or, The LEGO Movie: Ethical

The LEGO Movie. Rated PG.

The LEGO Movie. Rated PG.

Last year I kicked off the now legendary 2013 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Initiative with in depth, expert coverage of the movie Snitch, a film that highlighted the legal absurdity of the American war on drugs. This year, today in fact, I kick off the soon to be legendary 2014 Channing Tatum Initiative with in depth, expert coverage of The LEGO Movie. A movie about LEGOs.

The animated movie stars Chris Pratt of Star Lord and Parks and Recreation fame as Emmet, a run of the mill LEGO construction worker, complete with a renal-failure-yellow face and everything. Emmitt spends his days following the instructions for a life of contentment, which have been handed down to the citizens of his city by President Business. The instructions include automaton pleasantry, watching the appropriate television shows, listening to the appropriate music and by and large doing everything everybody else is doing. Only it turns out President Business, played by Will Ferrell, is actually Lord Business, and his instructions for a life of contentment are really just instructions on how to fall in line with authority.

Fascism! In a kids movie! Outrageous!

Adorable?

Adorable?

The LEGO Movie boasts solid animation that evokes old fashioned stop motion. It also boasts a cast of literally everyone: Will Arnett, Morgan Freedman, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Liam Neeson, Jonah Hill.

Also Channing Tatum.

But what parents will be happiest about in regards to the LEGO Movie is its overall message. You know, you only have to believe you’re special to be special or whatever the hell. I’m a loose-cannon renegade myself, so I knew as much already, but for a dorky little kid I’m sure it’s very fulfilling.

Regardless the LEGO Movie treats its theme seriously and laces it with just enough indictment of techno-fascist Western culture to be way over children’s lice-ridden heads.

Emmet’s town, Bricksburg, is a place where politics and popular culture are one and the same, with the latter used to placate and pacify the masses while the former rub their grubby mitts together over candlelit plots and schemes. Amongst this backdrop Emmet is very much ordinary. In fact he is arguably the most ordinary among his fellow citizens. You know, like your kid is. But Emmet is soon taken on a journey in which he learns, you guessed it, any ordinary schmuck can be special.

It’s a worthy message, and one communicated with great sincerity. And yet, more so then most any other Saturday morning cartoon or animated feature film, the LEGO Movie is literally a 100-minute toy commercial.

$$$$$$$$$$$

$$$$$$$$$$$ AM I RIGHT?

You can get the Getaway Glider for $12.99. You can get MetalBeard’s Duel for $34.95. You can even get Lord Business’ Evil Lair for only $85. There’s a corresponding $3.47 in corresponding LEGO sets per minute of LEGO Movie. I did the math on my phone. And with a kids’ movie as well done as this what self-respecting tike wouldn’t want every buck of it?

But every kids’ movie comes with kids’ toys. At least LEGO Movie has a good message associated with it instead of mindless potty humor. Every kid should be exposed to the belief that every human life has its own inherent, individual worth, no?

But now your child can associate that belief with a neatly consolidated aisle of stylized building blocks at your local retailer.

But really, the LEGO Movie is a solid, exceedingly enjoyable movie for all ages.

But really, the LEGO Movie is potentially a subtle, sinister subversion of your children’s fiscally susceptible little noggins.

But really, it does have some fantastic performances and genuinely funny jokes.

But really, seriously, $85 for Lord Business’ Lair?

So yeah. I saw the LEGO Movie and if nothing else, I’m certain it is a thing that exists.

And that Channing Tatum is definitely in it.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. Does the LEGO Movie’s admirable message elevate it above being a glorified toy commercial, or does it make its use of the commercial property all the more sinister?

2. On a scale of 1 to 10 how hot is Channing Tatum, am I right?

3. Is there some sort of way to set out some kind of sort of PayPal donation thing on this site in which people can send me LEGO sets? Because they are very expensive.

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