THE LEGO MOVIE
Genre: Animated Comedy
Running Time: 95 mins.
Premise: When an ordinary construction worker (and Lego minifigure) named Emmet (Chris Pratt) discovers the "piece of resistance," he is mistaken for the MasterBuilder, and joins several other minifigures on a quest to stop the evil President Business (Will Ferrell) from using Kragle (i.e., Krazy Glue) to permanently glue the Lego brick universe together.
Behind-the-Scenes: Based on the popular line of construction toys made by The Lego Group, a privately-owned company based in Billund, Denmark. Writer-directors Chris Miller & Phil Lord previously helmed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street.
The Good: Though no doubt conceived as a marketing ploy and cynical attempt to sell more toys, The Lego Movie quickly establishes itself as much more than a toy commercial. Lord and Miller's script is packed full of witty gags that come flying fast and furious at the audience. Kids may laugh like crazy, but many of the jokes will sail right over their heads, making adults laugh just as hard. The animation is a technical marvel - visually wondrous and endlessly inventive. It perfectly captures the movement and look of Legos, using all those instantly recognizable bricks in clever, creative ways. Lego fans will get a real kick out of the level of detail in the production design. The voice cast is as good as it gets for an animated film, with hugely recognizable names in even the smallest roles (e.g., Jonah Hill as Green Lantern; Channing Tatum as Superman). The Lego Movie makes crowd-pleasing use of the many brands associated with Legos - the ignorant, narcissistic version of Batman (Will Arnett) is a particular delight. Where else can characters from Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and DC Comics all exist and interact together?
The Bad: Some of the action sequences are repetitive in tone and execution. The final act takes a turn for the meta, introducing a live action element that helps illuminate the theme of creativity above conformity, but that also kind of shatters the illusion of the Lego universe that had been so carefully crafted to that point.
Should You See It?: Yes. Kids or no kids, this is one of those rare four-quadrant hits that everyone can enjoy.
Will You Buy More Legos After Seeing It?: Yes. Parents don't stand a chance here.
Star Rating: **** out of 5 stars.
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