I think I’m done. My mind is exhausted. Over the past few months, I’ve had to write about toys being turned into movies so much that I’ve lost all ability to be snarky toward the idea. I’ve got nothing left in the way of clever commentary because, at this point, all of it is obvious.
They’re fucking toys.
You’re not adapting anything because taking something from the real world and putting it on a screen is called Product Placement, not Adaptation. Unless there’s a story or characters or some sort of abstraction, you’re selling Happy Meals, not making a movie.
I might disagree with Roger Ebert on his stance regarding video games, but I think even he would agree with me that board games and toys aren’t art. At least, they aren’t the same kind of art that movies are, and to pretend like they can be translated into that medium is absurd and, now, reeks of desperation and money-grubbing infantilism.
Now that the gloves are off, the good news is that Phil Lord and Chris Miller are going to be delivering Lego: The Redemption to the big screen. The pair were also responsible for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the truly fun, heartfelt, fantastic journey that movie was.
But all of the toy movies are loaded with great talent. Yes, we can celebrate that the studios (in this case, Warners) are being smart enough to get some strong minds behind these projects, but so what? Would you rather see these two develop two hours of material for a plastic square or see them bring more beloved children’s characters to life or, gasp, create an original pitch and see it through to completion?