04 February 2014 1363 Views

“The Lego Movie” Review

by Michael Lee

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The fact that The Lego Movie was even green lit in the first place was a major head scratcher. How would Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball and 21 Jump Street directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, go about making a movie about the iconic toy bricks without making it look like some long form commercial should have been on everyone’s minds. Surely making a film entirely about Lego would have been a disaster in the making, but as it turns out, that wasn’t the case as The Lego Movie has been able to capture the charm of the toys and combine it with plenty of laughter and heart.

The Lego Movie consistently building upon itself brick by brick, and as a result we get a absolutely wonderful film that connects to anyone of any age who has fond memories of playing with the Lego themselves or their video game counterparts. Hit the jump to read the entire review.

The Lego Movie isn’t just some commercial trying to get you to buy Lego sets, although you may get the urge to buy a couple of them by the end of this film. Still much of the films laughs are well earned, and the story while not wholly original, has genuinely inspired twists and turns that will teach younger audiences a truth that often goes unsaid – much like Monsters University.

The film starts of by introducing us to the Lego world in its infant stage with Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) searching for the legendary piece that will stop Lord Business Man’s (Will Ferrell) nefarious plan of building a structured world free of free will. Eight years later we meet Emmet (Chris Pratt) a mild-mannered construction worker who lives that structured life. Living a happy life in Bricksville, Pratt and the rest of the city’s residents live to serve with Emmet and his fellow construction workers building for President Businessman, who actually just days away from going through with his plan using the Kragel.

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When he discovers WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks) trespassing on construction property he inadvertently falls into a giant pit where he finds the “Piece of Resistance,” the key to stop Businessman’s plans. After the “Piece of Resistance” attaches itself to Emmet, WyldStyle finds him and is under the notion that he is the Master Builder that will help her and other Master Builders to save their world. Master Builders have the ability to see and use the pieces necessary to create vehicles that will aid in their escape, and as Wyldstyle will soon find out, Emmet doesn’t have an “original thought” and only does things by the book.

The plot slowly reveals itself as The Kragel is actually “Krazy Glue.” The audience is then introduced to other household trinkets like bandages, nail polish, even floppy disks, all of it establishing that these Lego minifigures are merely a part of a child’s imagination. But before you cry spoiler, there the plot has so much more depth to it than that, and slowly the story reveals itself where the human world and the Lego world are actually one.

There are plenty of laughs in this film, and they are almost non-stop, but when it does stop, it almost comes to an abrupt halt. The nearly 15 minute intro doesn’t do much but establish a story that could have been established in half amount of the time. But the cast of characters ranging from nearly every property Lego got their little yellow U-shaped hands on. While it may look crazy at first, it actually works. Characters like Bad Cop/Good (Liam Neeson), the 80s spaceman (Charlie Day) who is obsessed with building a spaceship, the dark and brooding Batman (Will Arnett) spitting out Bat-puns and shouting comic book graphical exclamations like “POW!” “ZAP!” and “Wham;” all of them have colorful personalities. There’s also Unikitty, which is perfectly voiced by the dangerously bubbly Alison Brie.

The Lego Movie feels like a call back to the 90s Saturday Morning Cartoons with its wild action and child-like humor. While the animation may seem fairly primitive, there has to be some praise given Chris McKay of Robot Chicken for staying within the confines of the minifigures’ limitations of movement. But the action sequences shines, and with so much going on at once, it’s fairly impressive that all of it actually made sense. The film uses the voice cast really well, so while some of them may be there just for cameo sake, it is all done in good taste and doesn’t offend whatever property that is being represented. Between all the laser shooting and planetary jumping, everyone who has played with Lego in their life is reminding of how much fun these pieces were and how they let our imagination grow.

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And there lies the heart of The Lego Movie. These bricks while designed to be the product that is displayed on the box are actually pieces that open a child’s imagination. Like Monsters University, The Lego Movie gives use a story whose underlining message often goes unsaid.

On one hand, The Lego Movie could have fallen into the traps of other major toy lines like G.I. Joe and Transformers. However, the film doesn’t even utter the word Lego – well it doesn’t say it verbally but you will see the Lego signature on some bricks. There are also plenty of cameos made by all sorts of Lego signature properties like DC Comics, retro pieces, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and a couple more. Like Wreck-It Ralph, The Lego Movie‘s cameos only create for interesting interactions between these properties, sometimes to very hilarious effects.

Full of bright bubblegum pop colors, The Lego Movie is a giant burst of energy. Cameos and all, the film is hilarious to a fault, but also gives a story that actually has depth to it. Overall, The Lego Movie will remind older audiences of how much fun it is to play with the iconic bricks and reinforce the notion to younger audiences to let their imaginations run wild.

4/5
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