Fox Business thinks the blockbuster, feature-length toy commercial The Lego Movie is anti-business. The mind boggles.
Forget the fact that this film is essentially a very good toy commercial that just made $69 million at the box office (thus propelling the wheels of commerce forward); Fox Business host Charles Payne is accusing The Lego Movie for demonizing Big Business.
The frustration stems from main villain President/Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell). Payne asks, "Why is the head of a corporation, where they hire people, people go to work, they pay their rent, their mortgage, they put their kids through college, they feed their families, they give to charities, they give to churches... why would the CEO be an easy target?"
His guests then attempt to rationalize their projecting onto this film. "For Hollywood it's all about the bottom line. So they will hire a Republican star like Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis if they think they can carry a movie and make money. What is the purpose of trying to indoctrinate kids in a movie? I guess they believe this movie is going to make a lot of money, so no matter what they can embed these kind of anti-capitalist messages and get away with it." *Head Explodes*
Then they defend Mr. Potter from It's A Wonderful Life. SERIOUSLY.
First up, the overall message of the film isn't the super lazy assumption that capitalism = bad. The Lego Movie is infinitely smarter than it has any right to be, and its message is grounded in the symbiosis of wildly creative thinking and teamwork. You need both structure and creativity in your life so everything actually can be awesome. In fact, we talked to the directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller about the complicated idea behind their film and they elaborated:
Phil Lord: Emmett [the main character, voiced by Chris Pratt] is the guy who can synthesize both of those styles of play. There needs to be some kind of structure. That's probably true of this movie as well. There were versions of this movie that were just jokes. There needs to be some kind of lattice upon which to hang all of this creativity. These folks, when everybody is doing their own individual thing — that doesn't really work either. So I don't know that we took a really strong position, I think we leaned toward individual creativity, but we also wanted to acknowledge that that can be problematic too.
Chris Miller: There are a lot of different ways to play, and a lot of different ways to be creative. But there's also an important aspect to that which is collaboration and having some sort of foundation from which to build on. It's kind of a complicated thought to get through in a family movie. But that was the goal anyway.
So basically, think harder, Fox Business! Second, it's not like anyone forced Lord Business to stop doing said Business at the end of the film. The skyscrapers remained — in fact further building was encouraged! Keep being you, Lord Business, just don't freeze people with crazy glue, okay? Great.
Also you could argue that the ONLY reason Lord Business is a villain is because SPOILER TALK FROM HERE this Lego creation was inspired by the child's strict parent, who just so happens to be a guy in a suit. Capitalism doesn't really live in this movie besides, you know, creating a massively successful film that will generate sequels and the purchasing of products for children and jobs for those making, marketing, and selling both the toys and the future films. So there you have it. And to end, here's a clip of Lord Business himself.
[via Entertainment Weekly]