February 8, 2014

Movie Review: The Lego Movie

When I first heard they were going to make a movie based on Lego Blocks, I could not imagine it being a good movie. Wait, let me take that a step further, I actually did not think it was a real thing. If anything, I figured it was going to be some sort of straight to video thing for kids. I was wrong. Trailers arrived, commercials arrived, and I was surprised to see that it actually looked kind of funny. Was it possible for this to actually be a good movie? The positive buzz that formed around seemed to indicate so. All right, I guess you could consider me officially interested.

Now that I have seen the movie, you can consider me officially converted. The Lego Movie was fantastic. It has a rather simple plot, but the way it is executed is just great. It is a movie that is the product of unfettered imagination. It is a movie that shows there is still creativity, originality, and freshness to be mined for family entertainment. Who knew it would come in the form of a movie that could just as easily been a 90-minute toy commercial. I guess it still is a commercial, but it never feels like it.

The Lego Movie centers on Emmet Brickowoski (Chris Pratt), he is a Lego construction worker who is always trying to fit in and always follows the instructions. He is an anonymous everyman who goes cheerily about his workaday existence. One day he sees a woman poking around the construction site after hours. Emmet investigates and discovers a strange Lego piece, which he touches and forever changes his destiny. Emmet is deemed to be the “Special” a Lego person who is a master builder, can build anything, and is prophesied to save the world.

This revelation sets off a chase that takes Emmet through a series of different Lego worlds. He is pursued by President Business (Will Ferrell), who is intent on taking over the Lego universe. Emmet is joined by Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), and Metal Beard (Nick Offerman) on his quest to fulfill the prophecy and save the Legos!

The movie was written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who previously delivered over achievers Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the 21 Jump Street reboot. This duo have delivered a movie that works beyond all expectations, and invigoratingly upbeat and inventive film that is always thinking outside of the box. It is a movie that is pure stream of consciousness, weird nonsensical pieces thrown together and surprisingly work together. It is satire, it is action, it is comedy, and it has genuine emotional resonance.

The primary message of the movie is about believing in yourself and not being afraid to not follow the instructions. It is about believing in others, working together, and not being afraid to take chances. It is a movie that really works and pulls together all manner of things. I feel I am beginning to ramble in rather short order now.

The Lego Movie is something that works, I did not expect it to, but it does. It is immensely enjoyable, suitable for all ages and proves there is plenty of creativity still out there. Clever sight gags abound, there is enough material here for both children and adults, and if the climax does not affect you, well, there must be something wrong.

Highly Recommended.

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