Film Review: The Lego Movie

This film review was published in The Central Western Daily on Tuesday 1st April 2014.

Everything is indeed awesome in The Lego Movie, a surprise package that will delight young audiences and the young at heart. Originally mooted as one of a slew of toy based flicks, including the flop Battleship and the abandoned Monopoly, it was anticipated that a film based on Danish construction bricks would be all concept and no fun for anyone over ten, however, I had a great time and was pleased to be swept away in a fun storyline with a bunch of well written and memorable plastic characters.

I have a mate who is an adult Lego collector. Once his pricey kits are constructed and displayed, that’s how they will stay forever. Strangely, that’s exactly what The Lego Movie plot rallies against with our hero Emmett (Chris Pratt), an ordinary Lego mini-figure, drawn into a rebellion opposing the controlling Lord Business (Will Ferrell). With his new allies, the Master Builders (those with the power to create anything out of Lego bricks without instructions), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Unikitty (Alison Brie) and an ultra serious Batman (Will Arnett), Emmett struggles with the notion of being “special” on an adventure which spans the Lego universe.

There’s a local connection to The Lego Movie. Australian studio Animal Logic are responsible for the animation. I found the stop motion style of animation jarring for the first thirty seconds of the film, but my brain adapted quickly and was soon revelling in the delightful visual style of a world completely composed of plastic bricks.

The appeal of the film for me lies in the humour of the screenplay by the screenwriting / directing team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and the all-star voice cast. How can you top a supporting cast of characters voiced by Liam Neeson, Cobie Smothers, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill? There’re plenty of cameos too, including one which was particularly close to my heart. I won’t spoil it for you (think Kessel Run).

The gags fly thick and fast, and I’m certain that the flick warrants another sitting to catch all the laughs. There are jokes to appeal to all ages as well as a decent helping of sight gags and slapstick that will be universally appreciated.

My only minor gripe is a slightly saccharine ending that tarnished my overall immersion into the Lego universe. However, the momentum of the fantastic fun to be had gets The Lego Movie over the finish line and will have you salivating for the inevitable (and already greenlit) sequel.

Just a word of warning that the bubblegum pop theme tune is as catchy as it is irritating. It is impossible to leave the cinema without having “Everything is Awesome” stuck in your head for days.

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Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 23:11  Leave a Comment  
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