'The Lego Movie' Brilliantly Subverts Movie Tropes
I rewatched The Lego Movie with my family and you should, too. Because The Lego Movie is a cinematic masterpiece. It follows Emmet, an ordinary Lego who gets pulled into a rebellion against the tyrannical President Business when he is identified as a prophesied “Special” meant to save the world. This movie is genuinely hilarious and not only fun to watch with the family, but also fun to watch as an adult who understands common film tropes. The Lego Movie achieves great humor and story with a combination of childish comedy, adult references, irony, and by subverting popular movie tropes.
We all know “The Chosen One” trope, in which a character is chosen by some greater force and is destined to solve the main conflict. Some of the most famous “Chosen Ones” are Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series, Neo in The Matrix series, etc. In The Lego Movie, Emmet is our “Chosen One.” At the beginning, Vitruvius tells a prophecy about a “Special” who will find the “Piece of Resistance," be “the most important person of all time,” and unite the realms to defeat President Business. Emmet finds this piece by accident and is swept into a rebellion that he doesn’t understand.
Emmet is not the typical hero. He's generic. He looks like a default Lego, perhaps a jab at how most protagonists are generic-looking white men. He’s not dark or brooding and he doesn’t have a complicated past. He’s happy and follows all the rules without question. Yet Emmet is desperate to fulfill this prophecy that goes against the rules. He wants to be “The Special” because no one has ever believed in him or thought he was special. Emmet is not a Master Builder like the prophecy says. He’s not a “Gary Stu” who is plucked from obscurity and suddenly becomes more skilled than all of the more expert side characters. He knows this, even saying, “I know what you’re thinking. He is the least qualified person to lead us. And you are right.”[read more]