×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

12-Year-Old Lego Champ Reviews ‘The Lego Movie’

'It was very, very loud'

Believe it or not, the best-reviewed movie of 2014 so far is “The Lego Movie.” The Warner Bros. animated feature currently sits at a 98 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, an impressive feat given that franchises based on toy series—see “G.I. Joe,” “Transformers,” “Battleship” or “The Bratz Movie”—often fumble in the story department. (Read Variety’s glowing review by Peter Debruge here.)

Legos, which are owned by the family of its Denmark-based founder, is an estimated $5 billion business fueled by all those play sets, licenses with “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” Marvel and DC Comics, and theme parks. But what will its legions of block-building fans think of the movie when it opens on Feb. 7?

To find out, I took 12-year-old Lego champion Ivan Sanchez to an early screening. Ivan is a member of his 7th grade Lego Robotics league in Brooklyn, and he’s competed at the annual New York City tournament at the Javits Center. His mom, Delmy, who also joined us, is the team coach, and she estimates spending $2,000 on the toys last year. “Ivan builds swords and guns,” she explained. “I should have brought you some samples.”

Ivan, did you like the film?
It was an ok movie. It started off slow. It got better. It was very, very loud.

Can explain the plot?
Pretty much, there’s a person named Lord Business, who is evil and he has the power of super glue or crazy glue. He planned on gluing the Legos together.

Have you ever glued your Legos?
Ivan: Never in my life.
Ivan’s Mom: That is a big no-no.
Ivan: Usually, when they get stuck, it’s because we’ve left them together for too long.

Did you recognize the actors?
I did know Elizabeth Banks, because she did Effie from “The Hunger Games.”

Did you find it funny?
I didn’t get half the jokes. But overall, it was pretty good.

What did you think about the Legos romance?
Ivan: I didn’t really notice.
Ivan’s Mom: 12-year-olds don’t talk about romance.

Is the movie smart marketing?
Yeah, it was a good call on their part. They’re kind of telling people, you can buy this or this or this. I think “Star Wars” is probably the best-selling sets. I’ve noticed everybody has at least one of those. I did see the medieval set with the dragons in the movie.

Does watching the film make you want to shop for Legos?
Ivan: Yeah, I think I might buy a few sets.
Ivan’s Mom: Which one is it that you want? The “Star Trek” spaceship. That costs $800.

How many Legos do you have?
I don’t even know, you lose count.

Do you have a favorite piece?
To be honest, no. I like them all with equal respect.

What part of the film did you like the most?
I have to admit, the building parts. I also liked the part where they falling down the infinite loophole.

Should there be a sequel?
This seems like one of those movies that deserves to stay where it is. They’ll attempt it, probably. It might not be as good as this.

What age range is this movie appropriate for?
6 to 11.

But you’re 12.
I have a one-year restriction on that.

Would you tell your friends to see it?

I guess.

Ivan’s grade for “The Lego Movie”: an A-minus. “It had a few things that were a little confusing. They could work on that.”

More Film

  • South Mountain

    Film Review: 'South Mountain'

    “South Mountain” joins the company of “Gloria Bell” and “Diane” as yet another 2019 drama intimately attuned to the literal and emotional plight of a middle-aged woman. In the case of Hilary Brougher’s incisive feature, the female in question is Lila (Talia Balsam), whose quiet life in upstate New York is destabilized by a continuing [...]

  • The Good Girls

    Shanghai Film Review: 'The Good Girls'

    The economy’s a mess but Sofía’s hair is perfect in Alejandra Márquez Abella’s “The Good Girls,” a film that is all surface in a way that is not, for once, a negative. The primped, powdered and shoulder-padded story of the fall from grace of a 1980s Mexican socialite is all about buffed and lustrous surfaces [...]

  • ‘Midsommar’ Traumatizes Early Audiences (Who Totally

    ‘Midsommar’ Traumatizes Early Audiences (But in a Good Way)

    Ari Aster can likely cross off “sophomore slump” from his list of many nightmares. Distributor A24 let loose the follow-up to the director’s widely praised, commercial hit debut “Hereditary” with two buzz screenings, which ran simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Response was almost unanimously positive, if not significantly rattled. “Holy [...]

  • Toy Story 4 Forky

    ‘Toy Story 4’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Disney Pixar claims the top spot in spending with “Toy Story 4.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.53 million through Sunday for 1,073 national ad airings on 38 networks. [...]

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content