LEGO toys inspire joyful creativity — unfortunately the iconic toy’s legacy is chronicled by a surprisingly boring documentary (“A LEGO Brickumentary,” opening in theaters July 31).
In short: Jason Bateman narrates this documentary, which looks at the global culture and appeal of the LEGO building-block toys. (watch the trailer)
While “Brickumentary” has some fleeting awe-inspiring moments, this pedestrian documentary is simply too dull to be worthy of a toy so closely associated with creativity and inspiration. This documentary just does not warrant even its meager 90-minute running time — the fact that a LEGO-based documentary is so short and still so boring is a small cinematic tragedy.
On the macro-level, “Brickumentary” is plainly unfocused — the entire film is just a series of “see, LEGO is important!!” assertions, featuring a LEGO enthusiast to support all these claims. Basically, this doc is just a parade of LEGO enthusiasts showering infinite praise on the Danish toy. This ultimately results in a disjointed documentary that random leaps from one group of LEGO fans to another (wholly unrelated) group of LEGO fans. As a consequence, the documentary rarely features a group or event long enough to leave a meaningful impression.
Then there’s the 100% expository narration. “Brickumentary” is at its best when Bateman sits on the sideline, allowing the LEGO fanatics describe their love and obsession in their own words. Bateman has the thankless task of just spouting pure exposition. The narration is informative, but it just reads like a straight history lesson — which means it is never compelling and serve the most basic function of explaining what is happening on-screen.
Final verdict: A pretty straight forward, if tedious, history lesson about everything LEGO, “Brickumentary” lacks the magic or charm associated with LEGO. At best, this is a perfunctory history lesson — at worst, it is a transparent commercial for LEGO.
“A LEGO Brickumentary” opens in select cities on July 31. This documentary is rated G.