Years ago, when The Lego Movie was announced, I was left wondering how would a movie about Legos be brought to life? It seemed hard to imagine at the time. But after seeing the film, all it took was a dash of creativity and the wonderful directing and writing talents of Phil Lord & Chris Miller in order to bring the toys to life in a creative and refreshing manner.
We are introduced to the world of Lego with a fight between an evil power-hungry villain named Lord Business (Will Ferrell) and a Gandolf-like wizard named Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). They battle for control of a special source of power known as “The Kragle”, that will give the victor the power of ultimate control. Vitruvius wants to keep it out of Lord Business’s hands, but it’s the villain who wins the battle, allowing him to become more powerful than ever before, sending Vitruvius into hiding. Years later Business reigns power over the Lego world under the guise of President, with firm control over the land, making sure all the fellow Legos adhere to his rules and instructions.
This is where we meet our protagonist, a character named Emmet (Chris Pratt). He’s a construction worker who follows all the rules and instructions that are given to him. He has a good upbeat spirit, but he’s largely ignored by his peers who hardly know that he exists. He doesn’t quite find his meaning until a chance encounter with a mysterious girl named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). One day after work Emmet mistakenly stumbles onto “The Piece Of Resistance”, which just happens to be the the one thing that will put a stop to The Kragle. Seeing this, Wyldstyle mistakes Emmet to be “the special,” the one that Vitruvius predicted would come one day to help them head the battle against Lord Business (sort of like Neo being “the one” in The Matrix).
From there we see Emmet join forces with Vitruvis’ team which includes special characters known as “master builders” who are able to build creations of there own, a direct violation of everything Lord Business stands for. These includes a bunch of colorful characters such as Batman (Will Arnet), Uni-Kitty (Alison Brie), Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), and a spaceman named Benny (Charlie Day). Only its clear that Emmet really isn’t “the special “like they hoped he would be. This leaves him once again wondering what his real meaning in life is. Even so, they need to find away to stop Lord Business’ evil plan to end the world, as time is running out and his evil plan is coming close to fruition.
What you have with The Lego Movie is a film with non-stop jokes executed at a rapid fire pace featuring numerous references and puns sharply executed by Miller and Lord, as always. Their script provides constant laughs, providing the type of humor that will delight audiences of all ages. Miller and Lord are able to work many surprises into their script that you hopefully won’t have spoiled for you before you see the film. There’s so many different tones and sets of emotion that create an engaging moviegoing experience that’s quite the ride.
The animation is gorgeous to watch, fully immersing the viewer into the world of Legos with flawless execution. Credit to Robot Chicken animator Chris McKay for his work. He makes the many Lego worlds pop out with crisp vivacity that will constantly find ways to surprise you at how great it all looks. There’s so much going on that if you’ll blink you’ll miss cool touches such as cops playing solitaire on their computers during an interrogation scene.
Credit to all the actors whose brought these characters to life. Chris Pratt is perfect in his approach as the naive Emmet, and Will Ferrell brings the right amount of evil as Lord Business. Elizabeth Banks is adorable as Wyldstyle as is Alison Brie as Uni-Kitty. Will Arnett nearly steals the show with a near perfect Batman voice. Liam Neeson adds two different voices as Lord Business’ sidekick Good Cop/Bad Cop. There’s also plenty of great moments from the voice of Morgan Freeman, as you would come to expect.
For those ready to dismiss the film as a silly product for children, let it be known that there is plenty of meaning and purpose to be found within its DNA. The whole story revolves around one’s ability to create on their own with their imagination, rather than strictly following instructions. With a toy like Legos, the idea of imagination and creativity surpasses the idea that one should just follow the rules and suppress the desire to create. This is hammered in during the film’s climax where there’s a surprising reveal that takes The Lego film to a level I didn’t see coming.
The Lego Movie is a sharp, delightful animated film that will bring pleasure to viewers of all ages. It’s very clever and genuinely funny. Lord and Miller have their fingerprints all over this film, and have proven that they are up to the task for any project. There’s no doubt that The Lego Movie will be one of the most joyful experiences that families will experience in theaters this year.