The Lego Movie Review
Reviewed by Lewis Hurst
With a title like The LEGO Movie, this was a film that was practically begging not to be taken seriously. Basing itself on the insanely popular construction toy line, there were no limits as to what story could be told here. As a self confessed fan of LEGO, I had high hopes for this film, and the fact that it both met with and exceeded those expectations is a remarkable feat itself, never mind about how good the rest of the movie is.
When the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) steals the Kragle, a relic with the power to destroy the LEGO Universe, the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) makes a prophecy that a chosen one named “the Special” will find the “Piece of Resistance” another relic capable of stopping the Kragle and save the LEGO Universe. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is a typical construction worker who lives by the rules and always follows the instructions, but through a huge misunderstanding, he has everyone believing that he is the Special. Lord Business sends out his henchman, Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), to capture Emmet. Emmet meanwhile is rescued by Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), a Master Builder capable of building anything. Emmet then finds himself as the unexpected leader of a resistance against Lord Business and leads a group of Master Builders including Vitruvius, Batman (Will Arnett), The Pirate Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), Uni-Kitty (Alison Brie) and an Astronaut named Benny (Charlie Day). But will Emmet discover his true potential and perhaps, with a bit of luck, save the universe?
The LEGO Movie is probably one of the funniest animated movies in a long time. Nearly every scene has something to make you laugh in it. Whenever it’s Bad Cop’s Good Cop/Bad Cop routine which literally has him switching between Good Cop and Bad Cop to Green Lantern (Jonah Hill) trying his best to impress and be best buddies with a not so impressed Superman (Channing Tatum), The LEGO Movie has something that will make everyone laugh at some point. There was one point in the film where I almost fell out of my seat laughing (Hint: It involves Benny).
The film is also filled to the brim with cameos and references. With LEGO having access to many popular licenses, this is to be expected. Characters from various licenses such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and DC Comics all put in appearances. And it all feels natural. The LEGO Universe as portrayed here is massive, large and strange so having Gandalf in the same scene as Dumbledore, Wonder Woman and Michelangelo just feels right, not to mention extremely exciting for a fan of all those properties.
The writing for the film is spot on. But of course, what were you expecting from the writers and directors of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs? The script is fast paced and witty, full of instantly quotable lines. I can easily see Emmet’s “I think I got it, but just in case… tell me the whole thing again I wasn’t listening” becoming a classic. As well as being filled with great lines and great jokes, the script also has really well written characters. Emmet and Wyldstyle are immensely likeable protagonists and you actually feel yourself rooting for them pretty easily. Of course, these characters are further helped by excellent voice performances from all involved. Every character feels alive and likeable, which is quite a feat for an animated film.
The film’s story takes an interesting turn (which I shall not spoil here) late on that just makes it even better. It is well thought out and is actually pretty engrossing. The story has a moral of trusting your instincts and letting your creative side take over which works brilliantly for the film. The story, at its heart, is all about being creative and letting your inner child out. The film doesn’t beat you around the head with its morals too much; instead they’re played just right and help make the film feel more complete.
Another huge plus is the film’s look. Everything in the film looks as if it’s actually been made with LEGO, despite it all being CGI. And of course, scenes where the characters pull the scenery apart to build new things to help them out is a blast on screen and leads to very inventive sequences. In one sequence the characters all work together to build an escape vehicle and it actually sounds like a group of people playing with LEGO with lines like; “I need pink pieces!”, “Does anyone have any black pieces? I only work in black!” and “Get your retro space stuff out of my zone!” Needless to say, it’s all very entertaining to watch on screen.
A huge shout out must go the film’s soundtrack. It is well put together and Mark Mothersbaugh’s score is great. If you get the chance, give it a listen as it is excellent on its own. The fact that it’s the score for this film just makes it even better. And of course, special mention must go to the incredibly catchy song “Everything is Awesome”. Playing in various scenes in the film, the song is just so cheerful and upbeat that you can’t help but start singing it after the film ends.
Nearly every aspect of The LEGO Movie, like any LEGO build, has been planned and built with care, leading to a truly magnificent piece of filmmaking. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is held as the new standard for animated films to strive towards, if the almost universal acclaim is anything to go by. If you plan on seeing this film, see it now. It deserves to be seen on the big screen as soon as possible. This is a hilarious, exciting and heart-warming film that is full of imagination and big ideas.