Okay, so I may be a little late to the party on this one, but that often happens when you have two small children and don’t get to go see movies when they come out.
We finally got to watch the Lego Movie last week. And then we saw it again. And again. And again…. aaaaaand again. You get the picture. We saw it a lot. And while we were watching it ever so many times, I realized I recognized several familiar themes. Eventually, I realized this wasn’t just because I was being asked by my three year old to “play it again!!” over and over, it was because I already knew the story.
Maybe you already know this, because I’m pretty sure every other person in America has seen this movie… but watching The Lego Movie is basically like watching an animated, Lego version of The Matrix.
Now, I realize I could just be a crazy mom hopped up on too much caffeine and suffering from sleep deprivation, but check this out.
Here are 10 ways The Lego Movie is exactly like The Matrix
1- Emmet is a “regular guy”. In fact, he’s THE regular guy. He’s the boring, I have nothing interesting going on in my life and I just follow along doing what I’m told all day dude. Much like Neo in the beginning. Neo is that guy that no one remembers because he’s just a dude. Not anyone special, just another dude in the crowd, in the office doing work, not bothering people and not really being noticed. Until…. he discovers that he has a destiny full of alternate universes, chicks in black leather with crazy hair and a guru who believes in him.
But that’s just the beginning….
2- Next up- Trinity. Or, I mean… “Wyldstyle”. They’re basically the same person only one has long hair with a pink and blue streak in it and has yellow, plastic, Lego skin and the other has short, spiky hair and a lot more cleavage. But otherwise; totally the same. Especially with this conversation:
Wyldstyle: You ruined the prophecy.
Emmet Brickowoski: I’m sorry, okay? You just made being Special sound so good.
Wyldstyle: To think I was going to follow you to the end of the universe.
Emmet Brickowoski: You were? Well, here’s the thing, how do we know for sure that I’m not the Special? We just don’t know it yet.
At the advice of Vitruvius, who is basically Morpheus only like if Gandalf and Laurence Fishburne had a lovechild that had Morgan Freeman’s voice, Wyldstyle takes a risk on Emmet, the totally normal dude from the city in another dimension who was born to fulfill a prophecy to liberate and save not only HIS world, but ALL WORLDS. Wyldstyle wants to follow Neo, I mean, Emmet… because she trusts Vitruvius but she is also really bitter that SHE isn’t the chosen one and this comes out more than once in the series, even though she falls in love with Emmet eventually. She is also really good at jumping and climbing and not getting shot.
3- So, let’s just talk a little about Vitruvius while we’re at it. First of all, the name. Vitruvius. Now, there are two options here- either he’s named after Vitruvius the 1st century architect, (most likely considering the nature of the character and the whole “Master Builder” plot) or he is named after the Vitruvian Man. You know, the Da Vinci dude in the circle who depicts the perfectness of the universe through the perfectness of mankind. Yeah, most likely the first thing. Now, Morpheus, as we know from The Matrix, is a pretty inspiring character named after the God of dreams from the Greek pantheon. He inspires Neo by offering to show him the real world. Much like Vitruvius does for Emmett, Morpheus inspires Neo, convinces him that he IS the prophecy and that he CAN save everyone- even when Neo is absolutely sure he can’t do it. Emmet, like Neo, follows Morpheus and eventually believes in himself, because he believed in his leader who believed in him. Vitruvius, just like Morpheus, died for his belief in the prophecy and in Emmet.
4- Good Cop-Bad Cop. In The Lego Movie, there is a cop with more than one face who searches the many worlds and multiple dimensions in search of Neo. I mean Emmett. He has a “nice” face, and a “mean” face and once his nice face is removed by the Architect, or wait… I mean Lord Business, he is free to travel around and do awful things to people in search of his target, which is “the piece of resistance” and Emmett- the man who will save the world. Just like Agent Smith, Good Cop-Bad Cop is relentless in his searching as well as brutally enforcing the rules.
5- The Architect… aka… Lord Business. This dude in The Matrix called The Architect is all about controlling the universe, keeping order and maintaining its perfection, even at the expense of human creativity for the sake of order. Lord Business is in reality, a father who has control issues, demands order and tries to prevent his child from using his own creativity to make the worlds his father has created better. Oh, and he wears a suit. So yeah. The Architect. ‘Nuf said.
6- So, in The Lego Movie, there’s this really amazing place where all the creatures from EVERY dimension, every land, are free to come and be themselves without fear of persecution. They are free to be who they want to be, they are happy, they are full of dance and song, they are in a non-stop party land of joy and drumming… and they call it Zion. Oh no, I’m sorry, it’s called Cloud World and it’s run by a unicorn cat who appears to have anger management issues. But still. Pretty much the same thing.
7- Sentinels vs. Micro-Managers… who would win in an epic battle? NO ONE because they’re the same guys. Big, robot blocks with Doc Ock arms who seek and destroy everything they are told to pursue. That’s really all there is to say about that. They look identical.
8- The Prophecy. Each movie is completely bound to this notion of a prophecy and a man who will save all worlds from destruction- but ONLY if he believes he can do it. Each movie’s prophecy is based on “the hero’s journey” in which the underdog, normal dude has to learn how to be a leader and only by believing a completely ridiculous prophecy about himself and KNOWING that he is capable of saving the world, can he actually accomplish it. Once he does- he gets to see the REAL WORLD.
8- The Real World. Both Emmett and Neo are put through endless trials trying to free humanity from the darkness of static oblivion. Once they finally believe in themselves and are capable of BEING the prophecy, they each fall into a new realm, a place where all secrets are revealed and the truth behind reality is explained. While there, both Emmett and Neo have to make a choice to go back and when they both do, they do so with a fiery power, flying really, really fast and breaking the street as they return to take on the bad guys and save the universe. Literally in the exact same way.
9- Static oblivion. So, in The Matrix, humans are living batteries that are trapped inside pods where they cannot move, speak or even be aware of their existence. In The Lego Movie, all creatures of the various worlds are in jeopardy of either, A- being trapped inside little boxes and super glued there forever- or B- Being placed in artificial worlds and then ALSO stuck together with super glue. Either way, no one gets to move, speak or really have any clue what’s going on ever again. Same enough for me.
10- Seeing Reality. When Neo finally grasps his power and abilities, he is able to SEE the Matrix. He can see the code flowing through the world around him and he can manipulate it. In The Lego Movie, once Emmett finally believes that he is The Special and takes hold of his destiny as Master Builder, he can see his world in much the same way- each piece, once a boring random part of something that already exists, he can suddenly see each and every single brick around him as a tool to create something new. He sees with new eyes and can see the instructions of each new part he wants to create. Not only can he see how things fit together, but he can manipulate the world around him at will.
11- Okay, so I know I said there were only 10 things, but here’s another just because I forgot this one earlier. When Neo is being trained after he first discovers he is living in a wonderland of code, they take him to a place that is a blank slate. The entire purpose of this place is to show him what is possible, teach him how to use his abilities and see what he can do. That same place exists in The Lego Movie and Wyldstyle takes him there to see if he has the ability to become a Master Builder.
So, there you go. Matrix = Lego Movie. Only The Lego Movie might actually be cooler than The Matrix because, well… Batman has a black metal band and there is just no two ways around the fact that’s awesome… because well, you know, everything is. Awesome.