The LEGO Movie (2014)

Posted: May 31, 2014 in Movies

LEGO-coverAfter massive success in the video game market with titles like LEGO Batman, LEGO Harry Potter and others, it was little surprise that the folks at LEGO opted to make a full-lenth feature film. Even though they “borrowed” the formula from almost EVERY animated movie these days, “The LEGO Movie” uses a unique blend of animated plastic blocks and characters to build worlds of endless imagination with A-list voice talent that makes for a heck of a movie. Writer/director duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) continue their momentum, smartly using the creative possibilities of LEGOs as innovation for their characters and story.

We’re introduced to a world where a society of LEGO figures work by-the-book and follow the manuals, building and re-building their world over and over again, and always according to the instructions as ordered by Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell). Within this world we meet Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) a construction worker that lives by the rules and has never thought of doing otherwise until he finds a strange object referred to as the “Piece of Resistance” that will save the entire world from an evil tyrant, hellbent on drenching the LEGO world in Krazy Glue, locking everything in positions of perfection forever.

Emmet’s world is turned upside down when he meets Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), a headstrong character representing everything Emmet is not, as she rescues him from the hands of Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) after Emmet stumbled upon the “Piece of Resistance”, a discovery that results in him being dubbed “The Special” – the one that will save them all.

On the surface, the story is rather straightforward, but it’s the way in which Lord and Miller have used the idea of making a LEGO movie to tell their story that makes it work so well. They embraced the physics of a world made of clunky plastic, interlocking pieces to create explosions and even bubbles in the shower. More importantly, they’ve taken the idea that with the right pieces and a little imagination, anything can be created – and the movie uses this idea to give us additional insight into the characters. Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) likes everything black and in dark shades of grey, Unikitty (voiced by Alison Brie) likes things with sparkles and old-school LEGO astronaut Benny (voiced by Charlie Day) likes old-school LEGO spaceships.

Additional members of the voice cast include Morgan Freeman as the ever-so-wise Vitruvius, Billy Dee Williams revamps his old Star Wars character Lando Calrissian and Lord and Miller coaxed their 21 Jump Street stars Jonah Hill andChanning Tatum into voicing Green Lantern and Superman, the former having a hilarious, massive fanboy crush on the latter.

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The animation is outstanding, all the way down to tiny scratches on Emmett’s plastic skin and while the movie holds its own, you won’t be able to get the song “Everything is AWESOME!!!” out of your head. Composer Mark Mothersbaugh (DEVO) teamed with Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island to create such positive lyrics such as “I feel more awesome than an awesome possum” and “stepped in mud got new brown shoes” and almost accidentally writing the catchiest pop/dance song in years.

As a whole, The LEGO Movie embraces fun, adventure and stop-animation in its truest form. As one who spent hours on end as a kid making worlds of my imagination, I would think it must have been a blast to come up with every silly little idea and eventually bring it to life in the form of tiny children’s building blocks. Adults will most certainly enjoy the film, but it’s going to be children that will eat this up, inevitably leading to many, many sequels down the road.

The DVD and BluRay release is set for June 17th, so if you have little ones, or simply just remember being one, I would definitely suggest “blocking” out some time and taking this in.

 

Rated PG. Warner Brothers Studios

9/10

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