The classic building blocks receive their own film adaptation in The LEGO Movie. Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary construction worker, who loves following the daily routines required for every citizen in his city. However, one night he comes across a woman named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), who is searching for the Piece of Resistance, which is the key to saving the world from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). When Emmet accidently finds the Piece, he is lead by Wyldstyle to Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) to help Emmet become a Master Builder and save the land. Along the way, they are joined by Batman (Will Arnett), Uni-Kitty (Alison Brie), Metal Beard (Nick Offerman), and Benny the 1980-something space guy (Charlie Day) and they set out to stop Lord Business and his robotic henchmen lead by Bad Cop/Good Cop (Liam Neeson), a police officer with a split personality.
There probably isn’t a person alive, who hasn’t played with LEGO blocks at some point in their lives. At first glance, The LEGO Movie might seem like another “make a movie to sell toys” type of film, following recent film adaptions of Hasbro products, such as Transformers, G.I. JOE, and Battleship. However, I have to say that The LEGO Movie is probably one of the most original and well-made animated films I’ve seen in quite a while. While mostly computer animated, the film features a very careful attention to detail, which makes the film look like it was really made with LEGO blocks. All the characters and objects have a texture to them that you don’t usually see in CGI films and every effect, from water to laser beams, are portrayed by physical pieces of LEGO.
Then of course, there are the countless pop culture figures that appear in the film, referencing how LEGO released sets for practically everything. While Batman is a major character through the film, the film also features appearances from the likes of Superman, Green Lantern, Shaquille O’Neal (voicing himself), as well as a surprise appearance I don’t want to dare spoil. While these pop culture references are fun, the film is smart enough not to bog itself down with them. In fact, after a cameo-filled council scene, the film settles upon the seven or so central characters, with only Batman being a constant presence. Speaking of which, Will Arnett is clearly having fun satirizing the depiction of the character in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films.
Part of the fun of watching The LEGO Movie are the little touches that makes the film seem like it’s taking place in a living LEGO playset. This includes the appearance of various “real world” objects, which the LEGO characters call relics, often with distorted pronunciations and uses. The film takes a very interesting, and I would say ingenious, turn in the third act, which definitely helps to make The LEGO Movie more than your average animated film.
To best describe how excellent I thought The LEGO Movie was, it’s only February and I can’t envision there being a better animated film this year. The directing team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street) took a film that could have easily been a shallow cash-in and created a carefully constructed (pun intended) animated masterpiece. It doesn’t matter how old you are, I HIGHLY recommend checking this film out.10 | LOVED IT