The Lego Movie (Warner Bros.)
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor.
Starring (voices of) Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Daniels, Keith Ferguson, Will Forte, Dave Franco, Todd Hansen, Shaquille O'Neal, Billy Dee Williams.
Written by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
I remember when Legos were just blocks and didn't come with any characters or instructions. All you had was a bunch of plastic blocks and your imagination. There seems to be plenty of imagination in The Lego Movie, one of the funniest and creative animated films in years.
Chris Pratt voices Emmet Brickowski, a generic construction worker Lego figure living in the Lego world where life is a repetitive mix of building stuff. Emmet is content to go along with the crowd, trusting in their leader, President Business (Will Ferrell) and living a sedentary life – complete with mind-numbing corporate products and entertainment. All that changes one day when he meets Wyldestyle (Elizabeth Banks), a beautiful rogue who happens to be looking for the mystical “Piece of Resistance,”(POR) a Lego block with great powers. President Business (whose alter ego is really “Lord” Business – a ruthless evil Lego god bent on Lego World domination) is also looking for the POR. When Emmet encounters Wyldestyle, he falls into the shadow worlds of the Lego universe, where “master builders” create their own realities by ignoring instructions. Among the master builders are Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), a bearded sage who made some sort of prophecy about a “special” who would wield the POR to bring balance to the Lego world. Among the other master builders are Batman (Will Arnett), Superman (Channing Tatum), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), the Pirate Metalbeard (Nick Offerman), a 1980s space guy named Benny (Charlie Day), Wonder Woman (Cobie Smulders), Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte) and many others.
When Lord Business discovers the POR is in the hands of the master builders, he dispatches Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) to use any and all means to get it back, so he can use it to deploy “the Kragle” (a giant tube of Krazy Glue) to glue the world in a permanent state of order.
The Lego Movie is the brainchild of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the same guys behind the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs cartoon features (Lord) and 2012’s hysterical 21 Jump Street. These guys know how to have satirical fun, and it shows. The Lego Movie is a delight that can be understood by kids and adults, with plenty of laughs from start to finish. A lot of the honest humor comes from Lego and superhero culture, and it's told in all its PG-rated glory.
The entire movie was shot in stop-motion, and every single frame contains nothing but Legos. The low-tech visuals are one of the things that make The Lego Movie such an awesome experience. Smoke, flames and water are all the product of thousands of small plastic bricks shot one frame at a time, which gives the film a raw charm – instead of overblown special effects and CG.
The script is equally charming, with a great message for kids of every age.
It seems strange that The Lego Movie was released in February – a time when most studios toss their least-likely-to-succeed projects. It’s a big mistake, because The Lego Movie may be one of the best films of the year.
To see what Clipper Associate Editor Jenniffer Wardell thought about The Lego Movie, click here for her review.