The Lego Movie (REVIEW)
I’m getting word from up top that reviews cannot be one sentence long. So I’ll break it down for you.
The Lego Movie is a smart movie that not only understands what it wants to be, but what films can and should aspire to be. It delivers on every level. Taking a familiar premise, The Lego Movie seamlessly creates its own identity, filled with wit, imagination and confidence, while at the same time deconstructing and laughing at the films that came before. The latest from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), The Lego Movies is one of the first great films of the year and will likely remain that way all year. It’s beautiful to watch, perfectly cast and propelled by a story that is truly enduring.
The film tells the story of Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary Lego construction worker, who lives a normal life in the busy Lego City. One day while leaving work, He encounters the fearsome Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and stumbles upon an ancient relic called “The Piece of Resistance.” Its power and the person who wheels it are key to saving the world. Emment, now finds himself the central minifigure in a conflict between the secret group of underground Master Builders and President Business AKA Lord Business (Will Farrell), who plans to unleash a super weapon that has the power to fundamentally change the entire Lego universe. While that might sound familiar, the movie is far from a simple “chosen one on a prophetical journey to save the world” narrative. Emment is no extra-ordinary hero and the movie is constantly refusing the concepts of a “chosen one.” The film is perpetually breaking down troupes and archetypes film makers and audiences clutch too, while often poking fun at their absurdity or rebuilding them for its purpose. It is in this way that The Lego Movie moves pass simply being a movie about Legos and becomes a movie about storytelling. How originality is needed but so is structure and how both can be dangerous in excess.
The Lego Movie is astonishing to watch. The unique visual experience will often leave audiences in wonder. Not just the amazing action scenes, every moment on screen is a joy to watch. Created using 3D Animation, the film appears as if it was shot in stop motion with real Legos. There are no conceits to the style and everything in this world is treated as if it could be made from Legos. Waves crashing on a ship’s hull, a starry filled night sky, fire from a burning building – all created from the little Danish bricks. Many films feature explosions and excessive destruction, but there is nothing more visually satisfying than seeing a Lego police car burst into flames and smoke created entirely by Lego pieces.
The main and supporting cast is perfectly put together. Morgan Freedman doesn’t miss a beat as Vitruvius, the wise sage. Charlie Day’s Benny is bursting with energy. Alison Brie as the strange but lovable Uni-kitty is great. Liam Neeson’s ruthless Bad Cop is wonderful. However, it is Will Arnett’s Batman that will likely steal the show for many. From DC Comics to Star Wars, Lego City to the 2002 NBA All-Stars, there are so many sight gags. The use of Lego’s many licenses from past and present almost require multiple viewings to catch them all.
The Lego Movie is much more than some giant commercial with only the cynical goal of increasing toy sales. It’s one of those rare moments when a license property is left in the hands of some truly creative and smart individuals, who are allowed to do anything they want with it and produce something amazing. The Lego Movie is just that good. Go see that sh!t, it won’t disappoint.