Monday, February 10, 2014

The LEGO Movie (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, 2014) Review

Finally, we get to the 2014 films. To start off the year we had...I don't know, something about Frankenstein or Robocop...kind of missed the boat of those since I was much more excited for The LEGO Movie...seriously. LEGO has been around for many, many years and is still just as popular now as they were back in their heyday. This film came from the minds behind Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs which was a wacky film with some heart behind it. Let's see what happens when these people take the helm of the universal sign of childhood, this is The LEGO Movie.

In a world made entirely of LEGO, Emmett (Chris Prat) is an ordinary, generic construction worker who follows a mysterous person going by the name Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). Emmett accidently discovers a piece known as the Piece of Resistance which will reveal 'the special' who is the only hope for stopping Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from destroying the world. Lord Business sends his henchman, Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) to stop Emmett and Wyldstyle from reaching Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and gathering the master builders.

Okay, this was VERY surprising. I walked in knowing that this would be a hilarious, wacky romp (which it was) but what I didn't expect was just how poignant it is! I'll get to that at the end but first the good stuff. The animation is just wonderful. It legitimately looks like someone has zoomed a camera into the LEGO world. It looks like a blend of CGI and stop frame which is the perfect way to animate LEGO figures. Also, everything is made of LEGO...EVERYTHING. I assumed it would only be the buildings and solid objects but, nope, it's gas and liquids. Water, smoke, steam, explosions...all made of LEGO. It's a very unique and well animated film.

The cast was picked perfectly too. Chris Pratt captures the naivety of Emmett's simple nature which is juxtaposed against Elizabeth Bank's action chick, badass persona as Wyldstyle. Liam Neeson, while a bit underplayed, does a hilarious job as Good Cop/Bad Cop and was one of the highlights for me. Other actors such as Morgan Freeman, Nick Offerman, Allison Brie and Charlie Day all hit bulls eyes (Charlie Day especially) but the person who will stick with you when you walk away is Will Arnett as Batman. That concept alone is genius and every second Batman is on screen is comedy gold. In fact, the comedy is brilliant. I was laughing all the way through. Sure not every joke landed but loads of them do and when they do, it's hilarity. The real surprise was Will Ferrell but...I can't go too deep into that. You'll have to see the film to see why...

Without giving away too much, there is a turn towards the end that cements the film in its genius. It borders on Toy Story 3 territory. I know for a fact that people will cry when watching this. The film knows its audience and that it's not just a kids movie. Everyone has used LEGO sometime in their life but damn, this hits home hard. It makes me realise that LEGO has had such a huge influence on us throughout the generations and shows no sign of stopping. There are different ways to use LEGO and this film explores this idea as well as leaving us with a moral that speaks to kids and parents. I could've gven it a lower scoe because it is just good, wacky fun but that last third is a perfect captivation of LEGO's influence that I can't possibly ignore it. As a film running on sentiment, The LEGO Movie was a ton of fun and, while it's not perfect as it may take a few minutes to really get into it (seriously, it starts off really quickly), it should not be missed. In The LEGO Movie, everything IS awesome!

The LEGO Movie is a hilarious, well animated romp with a big heart.

Now I want to play with my LEGO...

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